TOKYO Ė The amount of garbage collected on Mount Fuji increased 40 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, an increase which coincided with rising footfall on one of Japanís most famous tourist sites, according to official data published on Monday.
Mount Fuji, located southwest of Tokyo and listed in 2013 as a World Heritage Site, received a total of 285,000 visitors during the climbing season of July to September, 39,000 more than in 2016, the Ministry of the Environment said.
The amount of waste rose to 1,600 kilograms (3,527 pounds) in 2017, for the third consecutive year of increase, a spokesperson for Fujiyoshida municipality, a city located at the foot of the mountain, told EFE.
Water bottles, cans and clothes are some of the objects abandoned by tourists every year on Fuji, a habit that fell slightly in 2013, following the UNESCO classification, but which has since been on the up.
Local governments now want to educate climbers to take garbage home, especially foreigners, who are sometimes unaware that this is normal etiquette in Japan.
Another measure that could be implemented from July 2018 is a reduction in the number of visitors who can climb the peak, after a series of studies established a possible desirable figure.
Fujiís listing as World Heritage Site could be threatened if Japanese authorities do not take the necessary measures, as happened with the German city of Dresden and the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman.