Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
national

Yellow sand blankets parts of Japan

51 Comments

A yellow sandstorm covered wide areas of western and northern Japan on Thursday, prompting the Japan Meteorological Agency to warn of possible disruptions to transportation due to poor visibility.

In Osaka, visibility was about five kilometers on Thursday morning. Other areas affected included Fukuoka, Nagoya, Sendai and Sapporo, the agency reported. Yellow sand was also observed above parts of Tokyo for the first time since May 2021.

The yellow sand, which is carried on westerly winds from China, reached Japan on Tuesday and is expected to continue until Saturday.

Earlier this week, China’s capital of Beijing and much of the country's north were blanketed by the sandstorm. The storms are a frequent occurrence in spring as sand from the Gobi and other western deserts blow in an easterly direction.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
Login to comment

A steady rain is fortunately forecast for tomorrow across the nation.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Sand and all the other pollutants are carried from China by those winds too

17 ( +25 / -8 )

It looks bad in that picture, but very hard to notice when on the street.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Plays havoc with my respiratory system.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

To a large extent, yellow dust is a man-made phenomenon. To supply consumers with cashmere wool, cashmere goats are raised in Mongolia in increasingly large numbers. The goats pull up the grass they eat by the roots, leaving nothing to retain the topsoil, and desertification proceeds apace.

The BBC report at the link below, from 2020, pretty much covers what's been going on.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51315490

16 ( +19 / -3 )

Live air quality map

https://aqicn.org/map/japan/

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Thanks, again, China…;

..

viruses…, sandstorms…, what next(?)

..

( –___– )’’’

4 ( +23 / -19 )

What a wonderful neighbor to have.

3 ( +21 / -18 )

Summon the ambassador for a scolding. :)

6 ( +12 / -6 )

A steady rain is fortunately forecast for tomorrow across the nation.

Very fortunate indeed. But we've been getting rainfall every weekend for at least 3 and I haven't been able to start my yardwork T-T

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If we're talking about pollution, far worse done by the military bases, i.e. drinking water (it has been talked about in the news on occasion but then no follow up because, well, not politically expedient to do so, even though this Drinking Water we're talking about).

-17 ( +2 / -19 )

Horrible for people with respiratory issues.

Can it be shipped back and dumped on China and Mongolia?

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Even the territories are clearly divided, the air and sea are connected. We should understand and respect each other because we are all living in the same planet.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Might be an unpopular thing to say but good thing most Japanese still prefer to wear masks. Those with respiratory issues would suffer in that kind of pollution.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Nothing new happens every year

6 ( +8 / -2 )

It would be nice if Japan could just pull up an anchor and move/park itself further out to sea. Maybe closer to Hawaii.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Thank god for masks.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

I experienced several Beijing springs in the late 1980s with these conditions. It's geography, not some dastardly plot from the CCP. I also spend two years in semi-rural Arizona with dust storms that almost seemed biblical.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

First of all the Gobi desert is in Mongolia and China, and Chinese cities suffer just as much if not more from yellow sand each year.

The Gobi desert is expanding in size every year due to climate change, deforestation and animal grazing. Since world leaders don't seem to be able to get anything done about climate change, it's just going to get worse and worse

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Lots of China-hate in the media and here (big surprise). The sand is coming from Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan, but the amount of anti-China slander from the news and all the man-on-the-street interviews is pretty bad. I agree it is a pain, but don't just blame China for it.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Rather than the focus on being anti Chinese which is just not relevant with regards to the article, let’s focus on the problem.

It is true that winds blow from North Asia and most of that landmass is China, near Japan

China’s industrial production is not only detrimental to forestry and top soil cover but also produces high levels of toxins

The area around Beijing is ‘hazardous’

https://aqicn.org/map/japan/

Japan sees the result in deteriorating air quality

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Anyone need any more proof that CLIMATE matters?!

Act accordingly please, influence others as well to do the same, as we're ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The Yellow Sand has been blowing for many decades and not so much about climate change. Vast deserts like the Gobi will blow up sand in strong winds and bring it our way.

Most of the time Japanese quality of air is very good.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I live in Komaki city, Aichi, very close to Nagoya and did not see any yellow sand here these days. When I lived in Brazil there were frequently weather events that the news blamed to be related to El Niño that is in the Pacific Ocean and Brazil coast is 100% South Atlantic ocean... Fact is, that the burning of Amazon forest affects a lot the climate, causing floods and typhoons in the south of Brazil. And vulcans ashes from Chile or Argentina can reach Brazil despite the thousands of miles distance....

4 ( +7 / -3 )

LOTS of yellow sand in western Tokyo, just walk past ANY car!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

and yes climate problems do exist outside Japan I'm told

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So many incorrect assumptions and hateful comments in this thread. This is a natural phenomenon that has been going on since records began over a hundred years ago. It’s likely been going on for thousands of years. The sand does not cross over major cities in China and does not carry any major pollutants like PM2.5. Do a bit of research before spouting mistruths and hate speech.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

CHINA :

Covid outbreak wuhan kills millions.

Sandstorm although impossible to avoid will still cause disruption.

And finally as if they haven't caused enough havoc with international flights, they now talk of implementing a no fly zone around independent Taiwan.

Yet more international flights due to be disrupted by good old China.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

So many incorrect assumptions and hateful comments in this thread. This is a natural phenomenon that has been going on since records began over a hundred years ago. It’s likely been going on for thousands of years. The sand does not cross over major cities in China and does not carry any major pollutants like PM2.5. Do a bit of research before spouting mistruths and hate speech.

Please don't confuse hate with sarcasm/jokes and great your so educated LINDSEY! What should be done to protect China's topsoil AND mitigate this yellow sand?

PS.confused, why JT pulled similar post I made, clearly on topic!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@kurisupisu The sand is way west of the industrial parts of China which are closer to the Pacific. The winds and sand do blow over the industrialized parts of China. Remember when all the heavy industry was shifted out of Japan (and other Western countries) with investments in China? Cause and effect.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's this thing called 'delta', change in the environment, even if not dangerous, perception's reality remember?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Climate change!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I didn’t notice anything, talk about the media making mountains out of molehills, lol

Yeah it’s all well and good for the PMAers, but give a kind, considerate thought to those who suffer from things like asthma or chronic inflammation. That’s why it’s news.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Norm

Any evidence of any severe medical situations caused so far by this alleged environmental catastrophic event? Of course not, because it’s more immaturity designed to scare people, the media does that splendidly

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Xavier Japanese and Western countries knew exactly what they were doing investing in iron and steel, shipbuilding, chemical and other dirty industries in China and other developing countries. They knew very well they were exporting pollution to China and other developing countries. You likely benefitted from cheaper prices. Chinese workers suffered in bodily health.

Over time of course environmental regulations were improved in China, just as it happened in countries that developed earlier. This is not rocket science to understand this global economy dynamic. The Warren Buffets of the world are the puppet masters.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Any evidence of any severe medical situations caused so far by this alleged environmental catastrophic event?

Nobody said “catastrophic,” so try to be positive and relax.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/04/13/national/yellow-sand-japan-forecast/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lots of China-hate in the media and here (big surprise).

It is surprising that posts with no other intent that flaming hate against another people are allowed on this thread. They honestly believe that Xi is intentionally setting up big fans to blow sand over Japan? That would be a clear case of paranoia, so shouldn't these people get emergency mental care?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Thanks, again, China…

viruses…, sandstorms…, what next(?)

Sandstorms have been coming over Japan from the Gobi Desert for thousands of years. Nothing new.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Most of the time Japanese quality of air is very good.

lol not in Tokyo maybe the country side

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The sand is like rain, as soon as I wash my car it shows up the next day!

I only use my car to pickup large items for restoration, new client today, had to go pickup a large antique piece for restoration, so last night I washed the car to make a good impression!

Go out this morning and what do a see, a load of yellow dust all over the car.

Had to press gang my two adult children into helping speed wash and dry the car to get to the client's on time.

Personally I don't usually care.

But this in Japan and they useally keep their cars spotless a Gaijin showing up for the first time meeting with a dirty car wouldn't make a good impression.

One day later and I wouldn't have cared.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Take care everyone. With or without respiratory problems, it can be harmful. Watch out for your laundry, too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why this fuss? Yellow sands blown up by sand storms in the Gobi Desert are carried by westerly winds as far as Japan at this time of the year, causing Japan’s rural landscape very hazy and picturesque. That has been so for centuries. In Okinawa, such days are rare.

Today's haze is different from the past one, though, in that it contains harmful industrial pollutants. Thus, the brouhaha.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Today's haze is different from the past one, though, in that it contains harmful industrial pollutants. Thus, the brouhaha.

What are you talking about? What about over the past 30-40 years? I think you will find that the concentration of harmful industrial chemcials has actually decreased as China has cleaned up its act.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Does any good come out of China? Poor China always the problem!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tora,

The photo above was apparently taken in Osaka. Look at the smokestack billowing smokes, which are soon to be mixed up with yellow sands blanketing the city together with automobile exhausts. 

Such events must happen to yellow sand fronts all the way from their place of origin to the width of the Japanese archipelago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s better to use mask as fine sand particles on the air can cause lung diseases

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's been found that the extensive desertification of dry areas in Inner Mongol is caused by the over population of cashmere goats that graze on grass to the root.

Most of the cashmere wool sheered from the goats is said to be exported to Japan. So, Japan is partly responsible for this yellow sand weather phenomenon.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If countries want to have better air quality, they have "To Pay". Pay for what?Pay for the trees planting program in Gobi desert, not just sit and complain these dirts are come from China!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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