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There is growing debate over how best to reflect the lessons learned from Minamata disease in the so-called Mercury Treaty now being discussed with the aim of reducing the use of mercury around the world to prevent environmental damage and harm to humans.

The treaty is scheduled to be signed in Japan in late 2013. Former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said in a commemorative ceremony for the victims of Minamata disease in 2010 that Japan wanted to host a diplomatic conference to adopt the pact and call it the Minamata Treaty to demonstrate the nation’s determination that the grave damage caused by mercury poisoning is not repeated in other countries.

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