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JAPAN RUNNING OUT OF ROOM FOR TRASH

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Japan will soon run out of room to stash its trash, the government said Saturday.

"The problem is a disease of extravagance," said Tetsuo Hayakawa, spokesman for the Health and Welfare Ministry's environmental-affairs division. "People are throwing away everything, even things still good enough to use."The mountainous island nation, comparable in size to California, created 48.3 million tons of trash in 1988, 3.9 percent more than the year before, the Health and Welfare Ministry said. It rushed to compile the data months ahead of schedule in time for international Earth Day Sunday.

The volume of trash produced by the nation's industries and 120 million people was enough to fill Japan's largest stadium, the Tokyo Dome, 130 times over, the ministry said.

Hayakawa said that if the Japanese continue wasting resources at the current pace, they will create more than 60 million tons of trash by 1994, and there will not be enough space to bury it.

He blamed the wasteful use of computer paper in offices and consumers' growing use of disposable products, such as plastic bottles and even cameras.