When did western medicine expand to Japan?

Smog from China reaches Japan

Tokyo - China's smog pollution, which has persisted for weeks, is becoming a problem for its neighbors: The air polluted by car and industrial exhaust fumes was carried to Japan by the wind, the Ministry of the Environment in Tokyo announced today. If possible, children and people with respiratory diseases should not be outdoors. The ministry's website, which shows particularly endangered regions on a digital map, was overloaded with inquiries from concerned citizens.

The swirling smog over Beijing and other Chinese megacities has been one of the top topics in the Japanese media for days. The news explains how wind currents carry the polluted air across the sea west to Japan.

On maps, warning colors in pink, red and orange mark the regions with the highest concentrations of toxic air particles.

Atsushi Shimizu of the Japanese Institute for Environmental Studies said the air pollution had already exceeded the government's allowance limits in the past few days. According to the scientist, these are definitely poisonous particles, and he also advises people with previous illnesses to be careful.

Air pollution from China was first observed a good ten years ago, said Toshihiko Takemura, who conducts research at Kyushu University. Above all on the main Japanese island, the foreign poisons have become almost commonplace in recent years. Takemura's institute expected another significant increase in dangerous air particles for today and tomorrow.

China's smog problem is a further burden on the already strained relations between the two great powers due to territorial conflicts in the East China Sea. So far, the Japanese authorities have been reluctant to criticize the neighboring country. But "we cannot deny that there is an impact from Chinese pollution," said Yasushi Nakajima, a representative from the environment ministry.

From the point of view of the scientist Shimizu, Japan can itself contribute to solving the smog problem. He recommends that his government encourage Beijing to use industrial air-purifying filters. © kna / aerzteblatt.de