Lights off!

Published: Sunday 15 December 1996

THE Japanese environment protection agency has bulldozed the concept of artificial lighting in the country's scenic areas. Wanting to cut down the number of floodlights, the agency has warned that it would damage the environment. Japan's national parks are not situated in the wild as is the wont and is full of commercial establishments within their premises. The agency has prevented at least four local tourist authorities from installing night-time floodlighting at three famous waterfalls and at the Tottori sand dunes, northwest of Osaka. Said Zuitten Tsukamoto, deputy director of the agency's national parks division, "We want to encourage a natural environment in our parks, so our policy is that night should be dark. Most plants and some animals are negatively affected by night-time lighting."

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