Noise, Vibration, and Bad Odor…Neighboring Residents Furious at “Chinese-affiliated Tong Demonstration Factory” – Aerial Photography of Unauthorized Operation | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Noise, Vibration, and Bad Odor…Neighboring Residents Furious at “Chinese-affiliated Tong Demonstration Factory” – Aerial Photography of Unauthorized Operation

From Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture, where the government has instructed 16 times, but nothing has changed. ...... The roaring sound echoes from early in the morning and "I can't sleep at night," but when I complain, I can't get a word in edgewise.

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General view of a metal scrap yard operated by the Chinese. A city road also runs through the site. In the background is a residential area.

The scrap metal yard (outdoor storage facility) is located in a quiet area of Chiba City, surrounded by a steel fence, where houses and farmland are spread out. However, the silence was disturbed by the roar of multiple pieces of heavy machinery as they sorted through the scrap metal. The roar was so loud that the ground shook, and the residents of the neighborhood could not contain their anger.

The roar is so loud that it shakes the ground,” said one resident, “and it’s so noisy that I can’t sleep at night. It’s so loud I can’t sleep at night. Even if I complain, I can’t communicate with the employees because they don’t speak Japanese.”

The yard in the photo, located in Wakaba-ku, Chiba City, is the site of frequent complaints. The Chinese company purchased the land, which stretches approximately 250 meters from east to west, in October 2006. Immediately thereafter, a number of illegal activities came to light.

The Chinese company built the yard without a permit, even though there is a city road running through the site. There is a city road running through the site, but they are using it as part of the factory. They have repeatedly violated the law even though there have been a number of problems with noise, vibration, and foul odors,” said a reporter from the social affairs department of a national newspaper.

City Considers Criminal Charges

There are currently 94 metal scrap yards in Chiba City, many of which are operated by Chinese companies. In November 2009, the city enacted an “Ordinance on Outdoor Storage of Recyclable Resources. The city has required permits for the establishment of yards and has prohibited the construction of new yards within 100 meters of residences. Even so, problems with residents persist.

A resident who lives 30 meters from the yard in question angrily stated, “I measured the noise in my yard and it was very loud.

We measure the noise in our yard, and it is well above the 55 decibel limit for this area, and sometimes it is over 80 decibels (as loud as a busy intersection).

The city has conducted on-site inspections of the yard 16 times since 2008, and has issued a supervisory disposition to the yard operator under the City Planning Law on February 28, but to date, the yard has not made any improvements.

The current scrap metal yard is not an appropriate use for the property. If the subject structure is not cleared by the August 28 deadline, we will consider criminal charges and other measures.

When we called the vendor to request an interview, we were unilaterally refused in Japanese with a Chinese accent.

The vendor said, “The number displayed on this phone does not appear on an Internet search.

The vendor said, “ The number displayed on your phone does not appear on an Internet search. This call may be a scam, so I cannot connect you to the person in charge!”

We later visited the head office in the yard and asked to speak to the person in charge again at …….

The contractor said, “I don’t have any authority, so I can’t do anything.

The contractor said, “ I don’t have the authority to do anything. The president doesn’t come here either.”

Attorney Kenji Sarukura, an expert on waste management issues, noted.

The environmental hazardous substance and waste administration is difficult to align in each area because each municipality decides its own policies. Even if a contractor is caught violating the law, he can still operate if he moves his yard to a place where there is no ordinance, so there is no fundamental solution to the problem. It will be important for those cracking down to show that they are serious by strengthening penalties and manpower.”

Even if the crackdown is strengthened, the corrupt traders will move to places with less restrictive regulations. The problems caused by Chinese-affiliated companies in Chiba City are no stranger to Japan. It is a problem that must be solved on a nationwide scale.

From the April 14, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • Reporting, writing, and photography Masayoshi Katayama


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