Japan is widely criticized internationally for over fishing and for openly fishing protected species such as whales.
However, Japan has made great strides in many of its environmental initiatives and has a powerful Environment Agency. There are regulations in Japan governing the smog pollution, land use, recycling and other important issues.
Despite this, many issues remain. For example, Japan burns massive amounts of garbage including plastics that release dioxin. Japan has up to 70% of the garbage incinerators in the world. There is more than 1 kilogram of garbage burned per day per person.