Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
national

Japan declares war on hay fever

96 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2023 AFP

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

96 Comments
Login to comment

We got an oak and some wild trees,

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The Japanese monoculture forests could certainly do with a bit of multiculturalism….

16 ( +28 / -12 )

Just adding reason for people to wear mask even after 3 years.

-7 ( +17 / -24 )

this news is on a loop: https://japantoday.com/search?keyword=hay+fever

7 ( +8 / -1 )

As if the politicians actually do anything-just empty words on Kishida’s part

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Finally, I got suffered from hay fever this year. I need to move to Okinawa, no Sugi pollen.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I always heard that the reason this problem has never been solved is because it benefits a lot to doctors who are a very close to the LDP.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

I always heard that the reason this problem has never been solved is because it benefits a lot to doctors who are a very close to the LDP.

That would make absolutely no sense, not only it would be obvious that only Japanese would fail to deal with something solved in other countries, it would also mean that many people would choose to live with the very incapacitating problem even when they had the power to do something about it. It is not like only poor people get allergies.

The obvious explanation is that there is no easy solution, no miracle drug that can prevent all the problems nor a magical way to eliminate the pollen without huge investment of money and time.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Hooray. Maybe there'll be an end to the office sniffy-sneezy men babies who suffer quite openly and loudly all day everyday.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

… using artificial intelligence like supercomputers to "fundamentally improve" Japan's hay fever forecast system.

A better forecast system is not a solution. For at least a decade, government leaders have been talking about cutting.

Stop talking, start cutting!

23 ( +25 / -2 )

Japan’s politicians created this problem. Let’s see if they can solve it.

“Japan's Cedar Forests Are Man-Made Disaster”

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/17/science/japan-s-cedar-forests-are-man-made-disaster.html

17 ( +20 / -3 )

The cedar trees are not native. They were introduced after WW2. Thousands were planted because they grow quickly and the wood is good for building. However, these days Japan imports most of its timber from Brasil and these trees are just growing wild. Japan is the number one importer of rainforest timber. Perhaps if they do start to cut down the cedar trees they can stop importing so much of the Amazon rainforest timber.

24 ( +30 / -6 )

Stop talking, start cutting!

How ironic. Some Japanese person, in their brilliance, decided that planting cedar trees on the baren slopes of so many hills, was a way to stop erosion and help with limited supplies of wood. So they planted literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of the trees. Cedar trees mature quickly, and their mission completed!

But now everyone is suffering from it!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Sales of hay fever medicine in Japan are worth around US$2.2 billion annually.

Nothing of actual substance will be done about hay fever for the same reason smoking will never be phased out - powerful lobbies with vested interests in the "health and wellbeing" of the populace.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Yes indeed, Hey Favor in japan by far is the worst I have ever experienced. Nose, Eyes, Ears, and Throat go crazy on me can't breath, See, or Hear, well my throat feel like a dry stick and on top of that my mouth tastes strange. I was constantly pumping my nose with decongestants all spring.

In the early years I didn't know what was happening to me and so I didn't see medical help but later I found out it's these Cedars and I started getting anti allergy medications but even with that I still suffer.

Cut these damn trees and replace them with much friendlier one PLEASE.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

As a hay fever sufferer, this spring season has been particularly rough. Now how you plan a war against it is another matter, other than masking up and spending more time indoors.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@beachcomber

Sorry,even down here in the Ryukyus we get pollen flying over.

Meanwhile,LDP urges are nothing to sneeze at.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Anyone else remember Dear Leader Ishihara's firm pledge to fix hay fever in 2006?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2006/11/14/national/tokyo-launches-cedar-pollen-reduction-project-in-tama/

3 BILLION yen was the budget for that great campaign. Gee, I wonder where all the money went? Because it certainly wasn't spent on what he promised to spend it on.

I'm going to maintain a healthy scepticism on this one.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Also, can anyone guess why cedars were chosen as the result of the government-backed mass planting scheme in the 1950s and 60s?

Hint: it had nothing to do their bio-compatibility or aesthetic appeal.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Turns out, the difference between a conspiracy theory and the truth is, oh, about 70 years.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Among the proposals are cutting down cedar trees to replace them with species that produce less pollen, and using artificial intelligence like supercomputers to "fundamentally improve" Japan's hay fever forecast system, land minister Tetsuo Saito told reporters.

Both idiotic ideas

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan's prime minister vowed Friday to tackle an insidious enemy that causes enormous economic damage and misery for the country's citizens each year: pollen.

Wars on pollen, drugs, terrorism and nuclear weapons.

All things which will not deliver any results to the populace , and can consume time and resources signifying nothing.

Par for the course for Kishida and the LDP and looks to be a strategy for them.

Maybe the LDP can try linking hayfever to the SCAP policy of planting cedars and constitutional revision?

It would be a stretch but in keeping with the general tenor of their other policy proposals.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I always heard that the reason this problem has never been solved is because it benefits a lot to doctors who are a very close to the LDP.

Actually that makes a lot of sense.

And it explains the chronic inaction of the government to address the problem

After all, doctors are able to earn more than the average Japanese and are likely to be more educated.

When groups of doctors come together then the subject of ‘self-interest’ crops up

Anyone who has received medical treatment and has left a hospital or clinic with 3-4 different pills and powders after a cursory examination will know things are different in Japan

The sale of prescription medicine for hay fever in Japan and over the counter medications are in the billions of yen

Tax revenue on these products is also high

What is the impetus for the government to change the status quo?

Nothing has been done to address the problem in decades and Kishida’s ‘vow’ will come to nothing

2 ( +7 / -5 )

よし!!!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

When there's a war to fight, there needs to be a new force and bureaucracy established to run it. So I foresee Kishida establishing the Japan Forestry Self-Defense Force (to keep it constitutional) populated with brave amakudari warriors armed with fax machines and chainsaws.

Make Spring Comfortable Again!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I'd like to see the original news, because the use of "declare the war" and talks about an "enemy" may have a hidden and perverse reason. It may not, but I've not seen such use in the reporters language before.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Also, can anyone guess why cedars were chosen as the result of the government-backed mass planting scheme in the 1950s and 60s?

It's hardly a secret.

Hint: it had nothing to do their bio-compatibility or aesthetic appeal.

No kidding! It was for more practical reasons and no conspiracy or anything attached to it! lol!

https://blog.gaijinpot.com/strange-story-hay-fever-japan/

Despite its current role as the bad guy of Japanese hay fever, the cedar was a savior, of sorts, in post-WWII Japan when it was used to reforest mountains throughout the country that had been stripped bare by excessive logging during and after the war for use as fuel and lumber. Those treeless mountainsides had led to huge disasters and fatalities, particularly landslides, but the government-funded planting of the fast-growing cedars prevented any consequent large-scale damage.

Despite its current role as the bad guy of Japanese hay fever, the cedar was a savior, of sorts, in post-WWII Japan

Light, versatile, highly disease resistant, and due to its pencil-straight trunks, easy to process, cedar was also seen as the best choice for use as timber when demand for housing materials skyrocketed. In line with rapid growth in the Japanese economy following the government’s 10-year plan — a policy project launched in 1961 to boost the nominal national income — some natural diversified forest areas were also replanted with cedar.

As a result, even now, of the roughly 70 percent of the Japanese land mass that is covered in forest, around 40 percent is manmade according to the Japanese Forestry Agency. Artificially planted cedar forests make up 18 percent of the nation’s forests, while artificial native cypress trees, or hinoki (檜), make up around 10 percent. The unluckiest cedar hayfever sufferers also develop an allergy to cypress pollen, too.

In 1964, Japan’s lumber market was opened to cheaper, foreign imports and consumption of domestic timber dropped from roughly 90 percent to less than 30 percent. Turnover of the trees slowed and vast areas of cedar were left to mature to around 30 years of age when they began to produce pollen – in vast amounts.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

So I foresee Kishida establishing the Japan Forestry Self-Defense Force (to keep it constitutional) populated with brave amakudari warriors armed with fax machines and chainsaws.

Ha ha ha. Witty!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Sorry,even down here in the Ryukyus we get pollen flying over.

But NOTHING compared to Tokyo and other places in Japan! Additionally the constant breezes from the ocean keep it from accumulating anywhere, for any length of time.

More people have allergy problems from dust in Okinawa than pollen!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Seriously? People really believe this is a conspiracy to benefit the drug companies? Deluded.

Nobody would have even suggested such rubbish prior to Covid.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Just take care of the forest and use the cedar for what it was intended for. Stop importing similar types of lumber just because it's cheaper and start thinking about the future. More jobs in forestry.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I've had severe hayfever since I was young, which was before there was any decent hayfever medication. Hayfever can make the lives of those suffering from it wretched, damages the education of children and can be very disabling. The primary solution is to get dosed up before the season starts and stay on the meds until it ends. Modern antihistamines work quite well for most people. Use them.

I hope the antihistamine medication in Japan is not like the OTC painkillers - weak. You need the best that pharmaceutical science can provide.

Some plants, crops and trees are particularly bad for hayfever and some reduce the impact. A national strategy is a good idea, and I'm glad one government is making an effort. A bit of sensible planting will help, as can dampening the air - something that might start to be used for periods of severe heat in cities and pollution reduction. Anti-wildfire tech can also be used to spray trees when the pollen is being released. Terraforming the landscape isn't a quick fix, but the sooner you start it, the sooner you see some benefits.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

theResidentToday  08:47 am JST

Seriously? People really believe this is a conspiracy to benefit the drug companies? Deluded.

I think it's silly too. It was economic expediency at the time without any forethought about the pollen issue. Pharma companies making a moolah has just been a windfall for them, but not intended from the outset.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And it explains the chronic inaction of the government to address the problem

No it still not, because the negative effects include the whole population, meaning that people in power are affected indirectly (as in lost revenue) and directly (by lower quality of life) that would make it impossible to think they would keep the situation like this just to supposedly benefit doctors.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Thank god. Hay fever allergies have gotten more and more severe as the years have gone by. People who used to not get hay fever now do regularly.

Stop importing from Brazil and the US Pacific Northwest and use up all these cedar trees.

I'm a little skeptical about this quote:

A 2020 poll by electronics giant Panasonic estimated the nation incurs an economic loss of over 220 billion yen each day during the worst of pollen season.

That's about 2 billion US dollars a day.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I always heard that the reason this problem has never been solved is because it benefits a lot to doctors who are a very close to the LDP.

I don’t think it would be doctors, but I wouldn’t be surprised if pharmaceutical companies that produce allergy meds were quietly making it known that they are fine with all those cedar trees staying put.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The mono culture forests of Japan offer nothing to wildlife either ....cut them down and grow a lush mixture of oak and beech + maple etc ...deciduous hardy trees .

The cedar trees serve no purpose other than to make us sick.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@theResident

Then disprove the proposition that self-interested parties would lose out if the current situation were different ie an ending of the pollen scourge

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

I always heard that the reason this problem has never been solved is because it benefits a lot to doctors who are a very close to the LDP.

I heard this... I heard that....

Conspiracy theory nonsense by small minded individuals

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The obvious explanation is that there is no easy solution, no miracle drug that can prevent all the problems nor a magical way to eliminate the pollen without huge investment of money and time.

If there was then the conspiracy nuts would be screaming bloody murder about Big Pharma trying to stick a microchip made by Bill Gates up our noses.

While there isn't an easy solution, the conspiracy nuts use this as their latest conspiracy that the Government is intentionally keeping everyone miserable with hay fever.

We need a cure for stupid people most urgently.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just adding reason for people to wear mask even after 3 years.

get this been wearing a mask even before covid for hay fever, no it doesnt stop the allergies 100% but it helps a lot. yes mask are designed to filter and theyve been worn in Japan for multiple reasons even before covid. It funny how many get triggered even now over masks LOL

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan can declare war but they are not going to fight this, especially when the negative effects of inaction do not include most of the population and when people in power are not affected indirectly or directly, so it is obvious the status quo is kept to benefit medical professionals involved in this industry.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The issue was exacerbated by replacing diverse woodlands with mass amounts of cedar so this makes sense on paper.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

so it is obvious the status quo is kept to benefit medical professionals involved in this industry.

Who knew that docors had so much clout and they enjoy seeing ther patients suffer?

Q-Anon levels of illogical conspiratorial bloody nonsense.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Anyone with experience in Japan would know of doctors prescribing antibiotics for the common cold. But maybe that is a logical approach to some.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Just improve the medicine. It works perfectly fine if taken some time in advance.

Both prescripted Cetirizin and Zyrtec greatly reduces the symptoms. I know this because I use them against pollen allergy.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Fortunately Saunas are currently trending in Japan and Cedar wood is good for sauna builds. Start cutting them down and replace them so that I can get my hands on some cheap timber to build a sauna for my house.

And the economic impact is sizable because of productivity losses from workers affected by hay fever.

That may be so, but that isn't the only reason productivity is low.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Speaking by my personal experience, I used to have hay fever since being a teenager in my European country. Very heavy water dribbling from eyes and nose for a month or so, sometimes reappearing s few weeks later depending on westher conditions

Never had any meds. Never complained. Never affected me playing and getting my studies done.

I still don't know what pollen I am allergic too.

With time, pollen impact on me has diminished so now its effect has nearly disappeared...and barely concern me.

A lot of pain is self-induced by rubbing your eyes and nose extensively, which makes it worse.

I recommend highly to try to learn how to " control" the rubbing.

My personal opinion is using meds to counter the effect is just postponing/reducing one's capacity to manage hay fever.

A mask helps because to get acustomed to pollen, continuous low dose of the allergen helps a lot (think about people getting stung by snakes to get unaffected after a while by the venom).

Take care and stop rubbing for a while everytime possible.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's baffling that they didn't cut these trees down years ago. Now, generally, I'm against destroying the environment, but these trees were planted to be cut down in the 70s and 80s for lumber before building supplies changed. They were not meant to mature to this level and produce this much pollen. So, chop them down. Don't do it all at once, cut them down in swaths, planting trees that don't produce pollen (or produce much less) in their stead. Then cut down more and do the same. Use the cedar you cut down for materials, don't waste it, and it seems pretty win-win on all counts. Well... except for the mask/medicine industry that claims to reduce symptoms with use.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Id like to encourage the writer to specify what exactly they are planning to do. What are they going to do with the wood? A little more content please.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This year's season has been described as the worst in around a decade

Why is that? During the COVID pandemic, there were virtually no symptoms. Is there any correlation? Exactly why was this year the worst in a decade?

supercomputers to "fundamentally improve" Japan's hay fever forecast system

So? What do we do if they forecast a hight amount of pollen? Put on a mask? We all know these don't work!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Lived here many years luckily never suffered from it. Feel sorry for those that do.

Time to cut down these monocultural plantations and replace with a variety of native species. Not only do they cause issues for people with pollen, but also kill off the undergrowth and animals etc that would otherwise be flourishing.

Ridiculous how there are almost entirely two types of tree in all of Japan: cedar and one species of Sakura.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Actually government created the problem, and if you let the government get involved they'll probably create a different problem that's far worse than hay fever. A rather famous Milton Friedman quote goes like;

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@kurispisu: Prove that it is mate. Seriously.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Uninformed people's first reaction is always conspiracy theory, big pharma, government collusion etc. Those entities have selfish genes just like any of us to be sure, but the world is more complex than that alone. Others react to harm immediately by "cut it out", bomb it out if necessary. That is too naive. If we replace cefar by something else, who can guarantee that those would not cause other problems? Allergic reactions are highly unstable and can change regarding the type of stimulants. Plus, cedar is one of the best woods for building. It is the top material for buidling log cabins for example. Its wood is naturally insect repellent and not subject to termites. I live in a log cabin built 1989 with imported Canadian pine; how i wish it were cedar. But cedar at that point was expensive. Now it ought to be much cheaper if we can get people to log them instead of importing from another continent. But then of course the conspiracy theorists would yell "isolationism"!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Brilliant plan just as elections are taking place , of course nothing will ever be done , pathos broght to you again by the LDP

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here's is a good account of how allergies can change.

https://www.thermofisher.com/allergy/wo/en/living-with-allergies/understanding-allergies/can-allergies-change-over-time.html

If we ban all allergic substances, we ban a lot of foods, chemicals, clothing material, soaps, etc, etc, even peanuts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Then disprove the proposition that self-interested parties would lose out if the current situation were different ie an ending of the pollen scourge

Why would this be necessary? if a clear and uncomplicated reason is readily available why would it be necessary to disprove any conspiracy theory?

Japan can declare war but they are not going to fight this, especially when the negative effects of inaction do not include most of the population and when people in power are not affected indirectly or directly, 

No argument to support this personal belief? do you refute that hay fever have negative effects on people?

so it is obvious the status quo is kept to benefit medical professionals involved in this industry.

Since you make no effort to defend your claim what is obvious is that you simply want to believe something that has no basis on reality.

Anyone with experience in Japan would know of doctors prescribing antibiotics for the common cold. But maybe that is a logical approach to some.

What does this have to do with the topic of the article?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan is net exporter of lumber .!. Japan does NOT import so much as even a splinter from Brazil.!. As for hay fever … I lived hay fever free for 43 years in central California…. Where everything is grown…. I’ve had seasonal hay fever every year for 12 years since moving to Japan …. This isn’t some mask conspiracy…. And cedar trees which are NATIVE to Japan and a huge part of the problem.!.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Start cutting them down and replace them so that I can get my hands on some cheap timber to build a sauna for my house.

Wouldn't that make you snot and sneeze inside the sauna?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Good luck with that. It seems like an impossible task.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Kishida's pledge could quite probably result in a number of research studies on how best to solve the problem...naturally requiring a few billion yen.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

apan is net exporter of lumber .!. Japan does NOT import so much as even a splinter from Brazil.!. As for hay fever … I lived hay fever free for 43 years in central California…. Where everything is grown…. I’ve had seasonal hay fever every year for 12 years since moving to Japan …. This isn’t some mask conspiracy…. And cedar trees which are NATIVE to Japan and a huge part of the problem.!.

You really should get your facts straight. Japan imports wood from Brazil

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/JPN/Year/2020/TradeFlow/Import/Partner/BRA/Product/All-Groups

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Be careful what you ask for in the war against pollen.

The war strategy may be to pour concrete over the whole country.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Replacing parts of the cedar forests with other species of trees sounds reasonable. Is the this cedar monoculture not artificial in the first place? That said, a "war" on an allergy sounds stupid. There will always be people with allergies.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thank you after I have spent thousands of dollars on medicine, masks, and air filters.

cutting down a cedar tree, maybe even 100, is now on my bucket list.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Then disprove the proposition that self-interested parties would lose out if the current situation were different ie an ending of the pollen scourge

The burden of proof is on the person that made the irrational claim, not @virusrex to disprove the madness.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think many people have had their immune systems suppressed for the last 3 years because of mask wearing and also all the MRNA vaccines have possibly created an immune hypersensitivity to pathogens like pollen. For example, egg allergy has been a longstanding concern with influenza vaccination. Just a theory. Not an expert.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan declares war on hay fever

Japan's prime minister vowed Friday to tackle an insidious enemy that causes enormous economic damage and misery for the country's citizens each year: pollen.

DARN you, NATURE! DARN YOU TO HECK!!!!!

We are going to ELIMINATE pollen and nature, all in one swoop!

Japan will still be "ECO" but it will not stop until the threat of nature and pollen have been eliminated.

But to do all of this, we will need to insert a "Pollen Tax" to every single pay check in Japan.

So please sign here and here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think many people have had their immune systems suppressed for the last 3 years because of mask wearing and also all the MRNA vaccines have possibly created an immune hypersensitivity to pathogens like pollen. 

That should be terribly easy to prove by citing examples from the literature that indicate so, there have been professions that required constant use for masks during the whole day long before the pandemic began, those people should have a much higher incidence of allergies if this was a factor.

If that is not the case then the evidence do not indicate this to be a reasonable possibility,

For example, egg allergy has been a longstanding concern with influenza vaccination. Just a theory. Not an expert.

The problem is that the example you use is the opposite, vaccines do not increase the risk of developing the allergy, people with allergy are at a higher risk of complications from vaccines that are produced in eggs.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Interesting the prime minister plans to attack the trees when there are other sources of pollen in Japan. Thankfully it is not the "whole population" suffering as was confusingly described.

Of course, allergies are a good money making source for the medical professionals, so don't expect much.

The problem is that the example you use is the opposite, vaccines do not increase the risk of developing the allergy, people with allergy are at a higher risk of complications from vaccines that are produced in eggs.

Posting to the wrong article? Pollen is one of the main subjects here---eggs are not a source of pollen:

Japan's prime minister vowed Friday to tackle an insidious enemy that causes enormous economic damage and misery for the country's citizens each year: ****pollen.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Of course, allergies are a good money making source for the medical professionals, so don't expect much.

That is not an argument that can refute the fact that expecting people with the capacity to do something about the problem refrain from doing it (even at direct and indirect personal damage) is not a rational position to take.

People of all levels of society suffer from allergies, and people that make money from other people lose a lot thanks to those allergies as well, a conspiracy where this is accepted just to benefit doctors requires being completely illogical.

Posting to the wrong article? Pollen is one of the main subjects here---eggs are not a source of pollen:

The text you quote do not reply directly to the article but to another comment that misrepresented the problem with vaccines and allergies.

Why pretend the comment is addressed to anything in the article if anybody reading it can clearly see the quoted text above it?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think many people have had their immune systems suppressed for the last 3 years because of mask wearing and also all the MRNA vaccines have possibly created an immune hypersensitivity to pathogens like pollen. 

Indeed, not being exposed to the usual pathogens and other antigens might have an adverse effect on our immune system, especially for the little ones (hygiene hypothesis).

And a while back, I did run into a paper where they showed a clear correlation between the incidence of allergies and vaccination rate.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

hope whatever they plan will work. I have been suffering from this kafunsho the last 15 years… Seems to have gotten milder as am older though but still need a mask when am out during late Feb though mid Apr.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Finally!

We have been talking about this for many years as they know the problem and pollen comes from those dam Sugi trees(I do love trees, however). Now the problem is Big Pharma! They have lined the pockets of politicians for years and they make so much money with the over the counter medicines. So the Japanese people need to push hard and make this happen(I can’t vote as a permanent resident). I have had co-workers who really have a horrible time and wear mask in office 6 months a year because of this problem. So let’s replace those trees with something else and it will bring lots of “Wood jobs” too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Cut them down and encourage the return of Japan's natural forests. Where they exist, they are beautiful, especially in the autumn when the leaves change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The economic cost of hay fever will far outweigh the financial benefits of a doctor prescribing antihistamines - the idea that this state of affairs is maintained for the benefits of doctors is laughable. The problem is the problem that always plagues the Japanese government - inaction when action is required.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Uninformed people's first reaction is always conspiracy theory, big pharma, government collusion etc. Those entities have selfish genes just like any of us to be sure, but the world is more complex than that alone.

Some uninformed people will say, "I don't know" - that is the correct answer. The conspiracy mindset is rather different and more interesting. One critical element to it is to have a simple answer to everything - cause and effect.

If a rock smashes through your window, the human brain is quick to assume that someone threw it (usually correctly), but this gets taken to extremes. There is also a desire to see that everything is part of a plan (for good or ill), because people want to think that there is some intelligence or design behind what otherwise be random events.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Hay fever is a national problem for Japan that troubles many people,"

How true, but luckily it does not affect the "whole population".

A simple regimen of something like Nasonex along with fexofenadine would reduce the misery for a large portion of allergy sufferers.

No need to chop down trees, or pull eggs of the shelves.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

It is really impressive the quantity of people affected by allergy here in Japan. Imports of wood from Brazil is only 1.6%, so the top 10 exporters of wood to Japan are: Canada, United States, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sweden, Finland, Chile, China

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They've declared war but have not begun it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Indeed, not being exposed to the usual pathogens and other antigens might have an adverse effect on our immune system, especially for the little ones (hygiene hypothesis).

This would be very easy to prove with data from people that have been wearing masks for most of the day from many decades ago. But there is no report that say this increase the presentation of pollen allergies.

And a while back, I did run into a paper where they showed a clear correlation between the incidence of allergies and vaccination rate.

Is it the report that was destoyed by the post-publication peer review for invalid manipulations? because many previous reports have been already published that contradict this.

https://news.ki.se/link-between-vaccines-and-allergies-dismissed

How true, but luckily it does not affect the "whole population".

Directly or indirectly it does, the effects of pollen allergy end up affecting (even if slightly) the whole society in Japan.

A simple regimen of something like Nasonex along with fexofenadine would reduce the misery for a large portion of allergy sufferers.

What is a large portion? 10% 40%? how does this compare in cost/benefits with dealing with the problem from the origin instead just treating it symptomatically? Even if one specific suggested measure to "solve" the problem may not be actually cost efficient that does not automatically mean there is no way to actually do it, it just may not be as obvious or simple as some people think.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is clear that this type of hay fever affects 40% of Japan's population. I am spared by the affliction. I am not affected indirectly by it either. So the whole population is not affected. Quite the over-exaggeration.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Be thankful if you are vaxed and boosted!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the last two weeks I had severe acute allergic conjunctivitis. I have never had hay fever. Now clearing up.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The prescription meds do not stop or greatly reduce it or they wouldn't be losing billions in productivity... they do help some symptoms though.

I had a maximum score on the allergy test and the only way to get through the season was avoiding going out as much as possible and using a HEPA filter in the bedroom. Drying washed clothes inside rather than outside, Coats and clothing that had been worn outside kept near the main door and away from other rooms - especially bedroom. Try and keep the bedroom like a silicon wafer factory clean room and wash your hair before bed otherwise sleep was difficult. Going outside the effect of pollen was delayed so that by that night and into the next day I was worse - blocked up, eyes puffed up.

They promised to release sublingual allergy drops through the national health system but backtracked on that. They do work and help most people but I guess the private medical system cost is at least 6,000 yen per month and it takes at least 18 months of treatment.

The cedar planted on so called 'barren' mountains were not barren at all. You can see natural re-growth when sections of cedar plantations are cut down. Power companies planted a lot as they are better at controlling erosion near streams and rivers that flow into man-made lakes - dams and hydroelectric schemes. Those dense cedar forests have very little else living in them compared to natural forests.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And I heard it is cheaper to buy cedar from China than pay workers in Japan to cut down and process the timber :-P

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ruddy government, they and their boffins have no idea what do to, it defies belief. I get hay fever, I guess less than many, get sneezes, nothing more luckily.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites