Golf mania

Published: Thursday 31 December 1992

-- The Japanese passion for golf is on a new course. Since 1987, 20 districts covering 32,000 sq km were earmarked for resort development. The total area covered by the resorts will eventually touch 60,000 sq km -- 16 per cent of the country's land area. A private study asserts the 17 districts designated for the tourist resorts by end-1989 include plans for 134 golf courses. They will be spread over 150 sq km, of which one-tenth would be carved out of national forests. The building of resorts is expected to destroy a large portion of Japan's natural environment, as slopes would have to be levelled, trees cut, rivers polluted and the coastline concretised.

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