The Aachi Mining Corporation of Japan is the latest company to make it legal to use the mineral water it produces from its mines in western Japan.
Aachi’s announcement Tuesday comes amid growing opposition to the use of mineral water as a drinking water source in Japan, where water quality and public health have been a source of concern in recent years.
In 2016, the Ministry of Health and Welfare reported that one in five Japanese households had a water problem, with many of them relying on bottled water to drink.
The company said its use of the mineral-rich water will provide residents with a more safe and secure drinking water, and reduce the risk of contamination of the aquifer, a critical resource for Japan’s rice and other crops.
Achiyama and Aachi are not the only companies that have made mineral water available.
Three other companies — Mitsubishi Chemical Co., Mitsubushi Co., and Suntory — are also using the water to make mineral water.
The companies said they will continue to make and sell mineral water in Japan for consumption, although it’s not yet clear how many people are using the mineral waters.
They also said they were committed to working with local communities to improve water quality in Japan.