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Home > Outline of Japan's Industrial Pollution Abatement > Approaches to Water Pollution Control (Case Study-2) Minamata City, Kumamoto Prefecture > (4) The Social and Economic Impact of Minamaa Disease

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Update:April 1, 2010

(4) The Social and Economic Impact of Minamaa Disease

3.Public Health Protection

In Minamata City, major industrial activities except agriculture have been depressed since the official discovery of Minamata Disease, The growth in the fish catch, commercial sales, and industrial production has become poor compared with those of the entire prefecture .
No one can conclude that the above are derived only from Minamata Disease, however, economic activities of the city has more or less stagnated since the outset of disease.
In addition, since Chisso, the causative company of the disease, used to he the driving force of the city economy, the opinion of the citizens has been split into two: supporters of the company and those who claim damage compensation for the patients. Diversified opinions and demands have destroyed human relationship and mutual trust indispensable to the local society fostered through a long history.
Furthermore, the negative image of Minamata as "the city of pollution" has been widely spread both inside and outside of the country and some of the residents have been suffering from unfair discrimination in jobs, marriage, and other social activities.
Methylmercury compound pollution has destroyed not only natural environment but also human health and has been affecting the economy and human relationship of the local society even now.