• Kyodo

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Kagawa Prefecture agreed Tuesday to remove all industrial waste illegally dumped on Teshima Island, ending a 61/2-year dispute with local residents.

The settlement, signed between the prefecture and islanders on Tuesday afternoon, stipulates that the prefecture will move all of the estimated 500,000 tons of industrial waste on the island to nearby Naoshima Island by fiscal 2016.

In Naoshima, the waste will be disposed of at a Mitsubishi Materials Corp. plant to be built there by early 2003 at a cost of some 30 billion yen, according to the agreement.

After signing the settlement, Kagawa Gov. Takeki Manabe apologized directly to the residents, acknowledging administrative responsibility over the dumping dispute.

The settlement was arbitrated by the state, after residents, represented by veteran lawyer Kohei Nakabo, filed a complaint 61/2 years ago against the prefecture demanding that all the waste be removed.

The dispute began in 1975, when a now-defunct local tourism development company submitted an application to the prefectural government to start an industrial-waste disposal business on the island. Islanders later filed a suit seeking an injunction against the construction of the waste disposal facility.

The islanders and the company reached a compromise in 1978 allowing the company to dispose of wood shavings and sludge produced in paper production.

But large amounts of industrial waste began to be dumped illegally on the island around 1983, evoking complaints from local residents. The islanders accused the prefecture of poor supervision over the waste dumping firm.