Used Mobile-Phones-Turned Olympic Medals. What Say You?
Wisdom knows its way of putting the concept of "Mottainai" into action. Tokyo's Governor Yuriko Koike just delivered a clean line-drive right in the center for another run in her crucial Tokyoites-first game of local politics.
The Tokyo metropolitan government installed February 16 a "Recovery Box" to accept used mobile phones to collect metals for making medals for the Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics in 2020. At the installation ceremony, Governor Koike appealed to the press:
"What a fun it will be if your used mobile phones can contribute to making Olympic/Paralympic medals in our own games in 2020.
"Here I have three used mobile phones I happened to find at home,"
Governor Koike threw the three obsolete mobile phones in the box and appealed Tokyo citizens to follow her suit.
The box was constructed by the students of Tokyo's Adachi Technical High School. The Environment Division of the metropolitan government says there will be altogether 5000 gold, silver, and bronze medals for the games. 9.48 million used mobile phones are required to make required numbers of gold and silver medals and 204 thousand for bronze medals, the division says.
The metropolitan government accepts altogether 9 items including mobile phones, digital cameras, hand-held video game machines, etc.
Japan leads the world in recycling buried rare metals in what is aptly called "Urban Mine" of used electronic pieces of apparatus. The central government has a unique legislation, "Small Appliance Recycle Law", installed to retrieve rare metals which if illegally disposed are liable to cause serious environmental hazards.
Tokyo's initiative in utilizing buried rare metals for supporting public functions like Olympic/Paralympic not only helps highlight Japan's stand in protecting the earth's ecology but also symbolize ways to fight ecological problems due to illegally disposed electronic devices and to prevent unlawful mining of gold and other natural resources. (Nathan Shiga)