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japanese visitors

14 September, 2005

At the Blue Tier camp

Students Yasuko Ono and Yutaka Niitsu with their lecturer Akira Harada in front of Blue Tier camp at Lottah

Following is a press release put out by the visitors on 12 September, 2005:

Japanese people not misinformed about old growth logging

A group of seven Japanese students and their lecturer from Azabu University today have returned from their state wide visit to Tasmania's forests. Their trip included areas such as the Weld Valley, The Tarkine and Styx forests. The group will be outside of parliament House to present forest minister, Bryan Green, with a letter calling for an end to old growth woodchips.

"We are a group of Japanese university students who study at Azabu University. Now we have enjoyed our inspection tour to Tasmania, which provided us many chances to see Tasmania's beautiful forests," said Akira Harada, group leader and university lecturer.

"We have found the new 'Community Forest Agreement' has failed to protect many old growth forests such as the Weld Valley. This is an area with high conservation valued forests, equivalent to its neighbouring World Heritage Areas. We urge the Tasmanian State Government to protect the Weld Valley and the other areas of high conservation value forests that were left out of the agreement.

"After seeing the logging practices ourselves we believe that the information provided to Japanese woodchip companies by environmentalists to be correct. Some of the biggest paper companies have started to revamp their timber material procurement standards. We encourage companies like Nippon Paper and Mitsubishi to continue this process so that eventually no woodchips are bought from old growth or high conservation value forests," said Akira Harada

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