Universal Studios Japan
The Universal Globe
, located in Osaka, Japan is one of three Universal Studios theme parks, owned and operated by USJ Co., Ltd. ( ). The park is similar to Universal Orlando Resort, since it contains many of the same rides. Most visitors are Japanese tourists or tourists from other Asian countries such as the Republic of China (Taiwan), the People's Republic of China, and Republic of Korea (South Korea). In 2005 Goldman Sachs became the largest shareholder in Universal Studios Japan. Universal still has a small minority stake in the park. The park opened on March 31, 2001. 11 million guests entered Universal Studios Japan in its first year of operation, the fastest any park reached that milestone.
The attractions are in nine areas of the park.
- Snoopy's Sound Stage Adventure
- Snoopy's Playland
Land of Oz
The Western Area, and with it the Wild Wild Western Stunt
& the Animal Actors show , were revamped to become the
new Oz land in 2006. This involved completely re-theming two live
shows, one restaurant and a number of retail facilities, and the
result was the new Oz land at USJ.
Universal Studios Japan is located in the Konohana waterfront
district, on land previously occupied by Sumitomo Metal Industries
site selection was controversial due to contamination issues.
During its 25-year occupancy, ending 1989, Sumitomo buried over
700,000 tons of materials laced with PCBs, heavy metals, and other
carcinogens. Nao Watano, the former director of a waste disposal
company subcontracted by Sumitomo, told The Japan Times
"We dumped the solid metal waste out in the open, piled it up, and
then just covered it with dirt as ordered by Sumitomo. We did not
encase it or anything to protect it from the elements."
After discovering this environmental disaster in 1986, the
environmental protection agency ordered a perfunctory cleanup but,
according to the weekly magazine Kansai Jitsuwa
, the city
was not aware of the full extent of the problem and no major
Further environmental testing went ahead in 1998. It revealed
overwhelming environmental damage. Chlorine
contamination was 12 times higher than the Japanese standard,
1.7 times, arsenic
3.5 times, mercury
1.2 times and
15 times higher. High
concentrations of chromium
, a metal
believed to cause lung cancer, were also found.
At the time, Yoneko Matsura of Osaka's Mihariban Citizens' Watchdog
Group accused Sumitomo of deceiving the city and the public about
the contamination. "We have lost faith in the Universal Studios
project and no longer trust either the city or Universal Studios
Japan to build an environmentally safe theme park," Matsura
November 2004, a 35-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecture suffered nerve damage in her right wrist, resulting
in the loss of use of two of her fingers and ultimately lost her
This occurred when her hand got stuck in a safety bar
of the E.T. attraction as an employee pulled it down to secure it.
The woman sued the park and received JP¥14 million in an