President Hu picks up green ideas

By Chong Zi and Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-05-10 08:38

KAWASAKI, Japan: President Hu Jintao on Friday visited a bottle-recycling factory at a green industrial zone in Kawasaki, a city once known for its heavy pollution.

Hu listened and took notes as Masanori Suzuki, an employee of the plant owned by JFE Group, talked about its environmental protection program.

The environment has been one of the key issues on Hu's agenda during his Japan visit.

On Wednesday in Tokyo, Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian and his Japanese counterpart Ichiro Kamoshita signed a document agreeing to cooperate on wastewater treatment projects in rural China.

Pilot schemes, aimed at reducing the amount of pollutants discharged into the Yangtze River, will begin this year in Jiangsu and Chongqing.

Under the agreement, Japan will set up drainage disposal facilities, including water purification tanks, in the two regions. Seminars on wastewater disposal technology will also be held in China.

JFE Group has said it will share its environmental protection expertise with some Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Guiyang.

"Hu's tour of the recycling plant might facilitate the cooperation," technician Yoshinori Kohno said.

JFE Group is Japan's second largest steel-maker. Its recycling factory processes used bottles and electronics equipment.

The plant's approach to recycling resources and success with environment-related projects could provide a good model for China's steel industry, Kohno said.

Before leaving for Osaka, the final leg of his Japan trip - the first by a Chinese president in more than a decade - Hu visited a Chinese school in Yokohama, Japan's second most populous city, which has a large Chinese community.

The school has 448 students, of which less than 10 are Japanese. It has even recruited some teachers from China.

Hu was welcomed with a traditional lion dance and Chinese songs.

Before returning home on Saturday, Hu is scheduled to meet with politicians and business leaders in Osaka, and will also visit two historic temples - Horyuji and Toshodai-ji - in the town of Nara.

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