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Why forest protection in Southeast Asia will hurt Japan

Construction sites might run out of the boards they use to mold concrete

This aerial view shows a tug boat pulling logs over a river in Indonesia's South Sumatra Province in October of 2010.   © Reuters

Japan's construction sites heavily rely on lumber from Southeast Asian countries that are now significantly cutting exports due to deforestation concerns.

While there are hopes that Japan's own lumber industry can pick up the slack, that is unlikely. Plywood from Japanese trees lack the strength of the stuff from Southeast Asia, and there simply is not enough of it.

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