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Universal Studios Japan
The Universal Globe
, located in Osaka, Japanmarker is one of three Universal Studios theme parks, owned and operated by USJ Co., Ltd. ( ). The park is similar to Universal Orlando Resortmarker, since it contains many of the same rides. Most visitors are Japanese tourists or tourists from other Asian countries such as the Republic of Chinamarker (Taiwan), the People's Republic of Chinamarker, and Republic of Koreamarker (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.


Attractions

The attractions are in nine areas of the park.

New York



Hollywood



San Francisco



Jurassic Park



Snoopy Studios

  • Snoopy's Sound Stage Adventure
  • Snoopy's Playland


Lagoon



Water World



Amity Village



Land of Oz



Former Attractions

The Western Area, and with it the Wild Wild Western Stunt Show & 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.

Controversy

Environmental concerns

Universal Studios Japan is located in the Konohana waterfront district, on land previously occupied by Sumitomo Metal Industries. The 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 remediation occurred.

Further environmental testing went ahead in 1998. It revealed overwhelming environmental damage. Chlorine contamination was 12 times higher than the Japanese standard, lead 1.7 times, arsenic 3.5 times, mercury 1.2 times and selenium 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 wrote.

Lawsuits

In November 2004, a 35-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecturemarker suffered nerve damage in her right wrist, resulting in the loss of use of two of her fingers and ultimately lost her job. 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 out-of-court settlement.

See also



References



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