Phalaenopsis orchids are said to bloom for one to three months under normal circumstances. Is it a waste to throw them away, or do the residents of Nagata-cho have no such awareness?
The photo above was taken in mid-October by a source at the dumping ground of the House of Representatives building in Nagata-cho, Tokyo. Expensive phalaenopsis orchids were lined up in a row. Many of them were still wrapped in plastic covers. These orchids were not placed there temporarily. They are disposed of by garbage collectors and disappear the next day.
As one veteran secretary of a Diet member explained.
“At the time of the inauguration of the Fumio Kishida Cabinet, a large number of congratulatory orchids arrived at the Diet Members’ Building from various organizations, companies, and supporters, addressed to LDP officials and Diet members who had been appointed as ministers, vice ministers, and parliamentary secretaries. The members of the House of Representatives who receive the orchids distribute the ones they can’t decorate their offices with to the relevant parties, but there are still too many, so they have to throw them away. ……”
The House of Representatives’ first and second legislative halls are 12 stories high, with dumpsters at both ends of each floor, and in mid-October, many of the dumpsters were filled with orchids. In mid-October, many of the garbage dumps were filled with orchids, and there were 30 to 50 pots per floor, so the total number of orchids must have been more than 200 or 300.
“It’s not just for one day, but for more than three days each time. The congressman’s office feels guilty, so of course they take off the wooden tags with the names written on them, but they also throw them away just before garbage collection or in the evening on weekends so that they won’t be seen.
FRIDAY reported in last week’s issue that Akira Amari, the “former” secretary general of the Diet, had been “using” orchids that had been sent to him as gifts to other Diet members. However, that may not have been the worst of it.
Phalaenopsis orchids take about four years from germination to flowering and shipment. Prices range from 20,000 to 30,000 yen, with the highest-end orchids costing over 100,000 yen.
Hiroshi Okada, the president of Okada Orchid Garden, which sells orchids as gifts, is saddened by the situation.
Hiroshi Okada, president of Okada Orchid Garden, which sells orchids for gifts, is saddened: “I was surprised when I saw the photos of the waste. They are new orchids that can still be displayed. As someone who sends orchids out of the kindness of his heart, I can’t imagine what it must be like. Orchids are living things, and they are expensive. As people who deal with flowers, we had to think about this. I think it would be a good idea to send gorgeous and compact flowers such as Cattleyas instead of Phalaenopsis, considering the recipients.
If things continue like this, the same thing will happen after the general election. Shouldn’t something be done about it? However, the person in charge of the Public Relations Division of the House of Representatives Office only replied as follows.
“As a general rule, waste in the waste sorting room is properly sorted and disposed of.
I hope that the members of the Diet, who are always shouting about the SDGs and sustainable development, will first solve the problem at hand.
From the November 12, 2021 issue of “FRIDAY”.