"KUMAMOTO, Japan -- Japan, where residents of Minamata suffered lethal mercury poisoning in the mid-1950s, today became one of the first countries to sign a new international treaty to reduce mercury emissions and to phase out many products containing the toxic metal."
"The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global, legally binding treaty agreed by governments in January, was today formally adopted as international law. The convention has been adopted by 139 governments and signed by 87 governments, including Japan.
The convention provides for controls and reductions across a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted. The treaty addresses the direct mining of mercury, export and import of the metal, and safe storage of waste mercury."