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Government warns of increased pollution in 10 prefectures

31 Comments

The Japanese government issued a pollution warning for 10 prefectures on Thursday.

According to the Environment Ministry, the average amount of particulate matter (PM) 2.5, which measures less than 2.5 microns in diameter, reached 88.3 to 101.7 micrograms per cubic meter on Wednesday. It was expected to remain high throughout Thursday, TBS reported.

The 10 prefectures for which a pollution warning was issued are Fukushima, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Mie, Osaka, Hyogo, Kagawa and Yamaguchi.

This is the first time that so many prefectures have collectively received a such a warning.

The highest average PM 2.5 levels were recorded at observation centers located in Niigata, followed by Fukushima, Toyama, and Kagawa prefectures.

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31 Comments
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How unexpected, where is this pollution coming from? I have no idea.

Perhaps Japan should send somebody like former Governor Ishihara to the country in question as a goodwill ambassador? With perhaps his lone success in Tokyo being to clean up the city's air, I truly believe that the country causing this problem would role out the red carpet and allow old Blinky to express his opinions on a wide range of issues.

Then again, maybe not.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My eyes are itching and have been since Monday... I can only imagine what it is like for those poor people in China who have to put up with this pollution every day.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Frungy, that's interesting - my eyes have been itching since Monday, too.

I thought it might be the onset I hayfever, but I don't get hayfever.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just remember last time everyone was up in arms and blaming China it ended up being domestic pollution.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

As China would say its because of the Japanese factories in China that is producing all the smog.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@sushisake3 actually one can get hayfever symptoms at any age.

Wondering what this pollution is btw.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hongo@Ishihara didn't become governor of Tokyo before 1999, and I can assure you that the cleanup of the capital's air dates back to the early 1970s, when Ryokichi Minobe (a university professor and former Mainichi Shimbun editorial writer) was governor. Minobe's policies were followed and expanded upon by Suzuki and Aoshima, Ishihara's other predecessors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow! It's pretty disappointing to see so many people pointing the finger directly at China. As Smith pointed out, last time it was domestic pollution. Every person on the planet that has ever bought a cheap Chinese product shares the responsibility for the pollution problems in China. If you are serious about blaming China you should throw out every Chinese made product in your house, including your computer. I hope you enjoy sitting on the floor in the dark and cold with no hearing or refrigeration.

2 ( +9 / -8 )

@GalapagosnoGairaishu

I actually mentioned "the air" rather than general environment issues. The PM issue is only a rather recent development, and I believe that it was during the administration of Ishihara that the first steps were taken to address that particular issue. I could be wrong....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hold on... new "pollution tax" is on its way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An increase in pollution coincides with an increase in coal and gas use...

Well, knock me down with a feather.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

JT more information please, is the particulate matter ash???, pollen???, debris??? The Origin too when known....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Industrial pollution from China, or pollen from Japanese cedars? The article does not tell. More information please!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Of course it comes from PRC. I saw a program the other day about how the pollution in beijing is so bad that kids can't even play outside. PRC continues to flout all international regulations on environmental standards. But then, they don't even care about their workers, why would they care about the health of their citizens or that of their neighbors. What a disgrace.

I hope you enjoy sitting on the floor in the dark and cold with no hearing or refrigeration.

What an exaggeration. There are plenty of options out there for folks who dislike buying anything made in PRC.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The pollution from various Asian countries west of Japan has reached the Los Angeles, CA, USA basin. Countries can ignore the Kyoto Treaty and pass laws to control the industry but the fact remains the pollution is drifting east and Japan is the first target. The USA has not signed the treaty exactly for this reason. The polluters are not following the treaty so why should the countries with the severest pollution laws pass more controls.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As terrible as this pollution is - esp for the citizens of China - the PM2.5 levels recorded in Japan yesterday were minor in comparison to tobacco smoke.

Everyone freaking out over 80+microg when restaurants with smoking allowed will commonly exceed 5X that amount.

Smoking in cars will be 10X that.

Even drifting 2ndhand smoke will get you the same results or higher.

Don't let te kiddies play outside, but it's ok to go to Mcdonalds and soak in PM2.5 baths.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wow! red zone all the way. That would be hazardous to lungs and anyone with a respiratory illness!

But you'll have to endure it. This will be the increased cost of the TPP. Under it, companies can sue countries against air pollution laws that affect their profitability. I guess they didn't mention that

all hail the corporations and their robots, who aren't human and don't breath.

what are we doing?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Incineration of tsunami waste taken on by many prefectures around Japan must be part of this, I would imagine.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I thought hay fever season had arrived. Itchy eyes and sneezing. Ugh! I have a picture from last year of the yellow dust haze which rolled through Tokyo. That was one horrible day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The pollution is fine as long as it stays inside China. There at least the authorities are slowly gassing themselves to death with their ignorance toward the effects of their industrialization.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just remember last time everyone was up in arms and blaming China it ended up being domestic pollution.

That's not the case, it was demonstrated in a laboratory to be from China.

It wouldn't be surprising to see domestic pollution to be increased as this is part of the price to be paid for firing up all the old power plants after shuttering the nuclear facilities. But this is most from China. Go look at the map of the particulate matter propagating from China, you can see it clearly migrate from Eastern China on tenki.jp

2 ( +2 / -0 )

HongoTAFEinmateFeb. 27, 2014 - 10:27AM JST

How unexpected, where is this pollution coming from? I have no idea.

PM2.5 density movement. http://guide.tenki.jp/guide/particulate_matter/?anim=1_16

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Woke up a couple of days ago with horribly red, itchy eyes. If I ever leave Japan, it'll probably be because of the air pollution, and possibly water pollution.

By the way, for anyone living in the Kansai region, you are probably already acquainted with people who are old enough to remember smog alerts caused by industrial activity especially in certain parts of Mie, Osaka, and Hyogo (especially Amagasaki City, which is still a byword for pollution even now in Japan). Just ask around. Sometimes people need to have their memories jogged.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@heda - exactly. What has changed among polluters since 3/11? Coal and gas electric generators coming back online, and TEPCO building NEW coal fired plants. Anyone opposed to nuclear power in Japan must take into account the tragic consequences to the environment from coal-fired generation. This article is a must read: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jul/08/northern-china-air-pollution-life-expectancy

0 ( +1 / -1 )

daily the count is over 200 pm2. its nothing new back in 89 the Gov mouth piece shanghai daily printed a story on how the CCp was tackling the problem and had a five year plan well this is it , share the pollution with the rest of the world. Thanks China , Oh and coming soon more state sponsored hate twords Jp in the form of a national holiday of remembrance of Nanking,

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Pandabelle: "That's not the case"

So you say, THIS time. It was the case LAST time they said it was not the case, though.

And hey, as Disillusioned rightly pointed out, China is not solely to blame in this. How many companies, before current tensions forced them out, did Japan have working in China because the labor and resources were so much cheaper? Now Japanese companies are moving on and outsourcing to other Asian nations and lo-and-behold, as another poster pointed out, the pollution is coming from them as well.

We are all equally to blame for the current problem, and all equally going to suffer until we realize that and take serious steps to end it. My guess is the finger-pointing and politics will trump an attempt at solution, though.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ Frungy

My eyes are itching and have been since Monday... I can only imagine what it is like for those poor people in China who have to put up with this pollution every day.

That sounds more like bacterial infection and you should get some eye drops from a hospital. Should clear up after a few days.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

China has had accidents that are not even talked about. Be Safe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Experimental_Fast_Reactor

The China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) is China's first fast nuclear reactor, and is located outside Beijing at the China Institute of Atomic Energy. It aims to provide China with fast-reactor design, construction, and operational experience, and will be a key facility for testing and researching components and materials to be used in subsequent fast reactors. It achieved first criticality on July 21, 2010.[1] It started generating power a year later on July 21, 2011.[2] Japan's Atomic Energy Agency (AEA) reported that the reactor stopped generating electricity in October 2011 following an accident; the director of the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE) denied that any accident had occurred

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

So you say, THIS time. It was the case LAST time they said it was not the case, though.

No, smith, you are wrong here. You clearly didn't follow the WHOLE story last year. At first it was said the pm2.5 came from China (which was plainly obvious as the particulate cloud was tracked before it even reached Japan), then someone made a report saying "No, maybe it was just from Japan." You stopped following here. After that the dust was assayed in a lab and the result published - particulate matter that only could come from China. Which was obvious as, again, one could follow the progress of the cloud as it moved across the sea.

Get the whole story, Smith.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let me tell ye, the pollution here in Fukuoka is bad and getting worse. Can I bill China for my asthma medicine?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Saw this on the BBC last night... thick choking smog in the heart of Beijing, causing a minor nuclear winter. No doubt they'll blame it on Japan and have a special day for it.

Also saw on ANN news that there was a huge cloud of the stuff approaching Japan, so it looks like that's what's being reported?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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