December 1, 2006
Thai-Japan free trade pact allows toxic dumping, Greenpeace warns
Bangkok (ANTARA News) — Environmental protection group Greenpeace on Friday warned Thailand that its pending free trade agreement with Japan could pave the way for the dumping of toxic waste and hazardous chemical into the kingdom.
"The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) blatantly seeks to allow ash from municipal incinerators, waste products from chemical industry, municipal waste and sewage sludge, among others, to be exported by Japan to Thailand," warned Greenpeace`s Bangkok office.
Thailand and Japan have finalized an FTA which is expected to be signed early next year. Greenpeace called on the government to disclose the full text of the document which they claimed lacks assessments of social and environmental impacts.
Japan and Thailand are both signatories to the Basel Convention which commits signatories to stop the export of hazardous waste from industrialized countries to developing countries but both countries have yet to ratify the Basel Ban, an amendment to the Basel Convention which forbids even trade of hazardous waste disguised as recycling.
"This attempt to legalize the dumping of Japan`s toxic waste into Thailand is nothing short of criminal," said Kittikhun Kittiaram of Greenpeace South-East Asia.
Last month, a Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement sparked protests in Manila after it was uncovered that the agreement would allow an unprecedented list of hazardous waste into the Philippines, DPA reported.