The amount of garbage collected on Mount Fuji increased 40 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year, an increase which coincided with the rising footfall on one of Japan's most famous tourist sights, official data revealed on Monday.
Mount Fuji, located southwest of Tokyo and listed in 2013 as a Unesco World Heritage Site, received a total of 285,000 visitors during the peak season of July to September, 39,000 more than in 2016, the Ministry of Environment said.
The amount of waste rose to 1,600 kg 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 news.
Water bottles, cans and clothing 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 rise.
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.
Fuji's listing as a World Heritage Site could be threatened if Japanese authorities do not take the necessary measures, the spokesperson added.