From the 1950s to the 1960s, Minamata Bay in Kumamoto Prefecture, located in the western part of Japan, was contaminated with organic mercury contained in wastewater from a factory, causing Minamata Disease. Now, the film MINAMATA starring Johnny Depp has once again brought this issue to global attention. In this episode of Science View, we will look back at what was going on inside the factory, based on an NHK program that contains testimonies of the employees of Chisso, the company responsible for Minamata Disease. Find out why the people working at the factory could not prevent the spread of the disease. Professor Yuki Morinaga of Meiji University, an expert in environmental studies, joins the program to look at the latest research on industrial pollution, share her discussions with her students on this topic, and to help us reexamine the lessons we should be applying to today's society.
NHK Special "The Confessions of Chisso Minamata Factory Engineers"
Yuki Morinaga, Professor, School of Commerce, Meiji University