Text size
Yellow text on a blue background
Black text on a yellow background
Yellow text on a black background


  • Enquiries
  • Site map

For the future of the Earth

Home > Outline of Japan's Industrial Pollution Abatement > Preventative Measures Against Water Pollution Jinzu River, Toyama Prefecture > 2) Compensation for agricultural damage

Main content starts here.

Update:April 1, 2010

2) Compensation for agricultural damage


Because agricultural land contaminated by heavy metals such as cadmium existed in every region of the nation, it was necessary to prevent any unforeseen harm to life and the farming industry, and to restore the soil back to normal as quickly as possible in order to assure the farmer a livelihood. With this as the objective in regards to contamination by heavy metals cadmium, copper or arsenic, the Law concerning the Prevention of Soil Contamination in Agricultural Land was enacted in December 1970.
This law specified agricultural land as follows, stopped all planting, and ordered measures be taken to restore the soil back to normal.

  • (1) Area where 1ppm or more of cadmium was detected in growth rice or where the cadmium concentration in the soil was equal to that found in rice containing a 1ppm cadmium concentration or more
  • (2) Areas where 125ppm or more of copper in the soil was detected
  • (3) Areas where 15ppm or more or arsenic in the soil was detected

Toyama Prefecture began surveys in 1971. From 1974 to 1977, some 1500 hectares along the Jinzu River basin were designated for soil restoration work in 4 different surveys, after a cadmium concentration of 1ppm or higher was discovered in rice grown there.
Compensation for damages and lost production was awarded to farmers who were forced to stop planting, based on an written promise concluded between victims and Mitsui Mining and Smelting. In 1973 and 1974 respectively, agreements were concluded over reparations for damages and compensation for past lost production (to cover lower crop yield), Every year there after, afflicted farmers were paid for damages resulting from polluted water and measures taken there against, as well as compensation for losses incurred because they were forced to stop planting .
Based on this law, approximately 6000 hectares, in 61 areas across the nation, were designated for soil decontamination. To date, decontamination has been completed in 2800 hectares (approx. 47%) and the special area designation has been lifted, Decontamination in the Jinzu River basin has been divided into 3 zones.
With the State, Toyama Prefecture and Mitsui Mining and Smelting bearing the cost, the first zone was completed in 1979 and the second zone in 1983, accounting for a total of some 550 hectares of decontaminated soil. Of the remaining 950 hectares in the third zone, it is planned to convert about 550 hectares from farming to cover purposes, and decontaminate the other 400 hectares starting in 1992.
Cadmium concentration in soil and rice after decontamination was an average 0.14ppm and 0.11ppm respectively which is equal to that in nonpolluted areas.