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The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced Friday that it has decided to offer the national government a piece of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay for the construction of a disposal facility for hazardous chemical waste, including PCBs.

The plant will dispose of chemical waste from the metropolis and neighboring regions, including Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures, according to metropolitan government officials.

The decision, in response to a request from the national government, is seen as goodwill gesture to its neighbors as Tokyo has long been criticized for producing industrial and other hazardous wastes that were often shipped to surrounding prefectures.

The facility, to be constructed on a 3-hectare plot, is designed to detoxify polychlorinated biphenyl by using sodium hydroxide and a catalyst, which turn the toxic materials into water, salt and harmless oil.

It will be run by a national government-affiliated entity and is scheduled to start operations in fiscal 2004.

PCB, a carcinogen and endocrine disrupter, was widely used in insulation materials for electric appliances during Japan’s postwar economic growth.

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