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Tokyo plans windmills to boost environment

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TOKYO — Tokyo plans to build windmills on its waterfront to supplement its energy supply as part of an effort to make the polluted capital more environmentally friendly, a report said Sunday.

The city hopes to complete two mills on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay by the end of fiscal 2002, which starts in April, the Nihon Keizai business daily said.

The facilities would generate enough energy to supply about 1,000 households. If the project is a success, more windmills would be planned for 2003, the paper said.

City officials were unavailable for comment Sunday.

Tokyo has been trying some novel projects to improve its environmental record. The city government made it obligatory for all new buildings to cover at least 20 percent of their rooftops with greenery — part of a plan to blanket city structures with 2,900 acres of gardens over the next 15 years.

Experts say Tokyo's traffic and factory smoke are creating a "heat island effect" that largely accounts for its notoriously hot and humid summers.