As Japan and the rest of the world have been watching China struggle with its increasingly frequent air pollution problems, they likely never thought they would be affected as well. Now news and weather programs are showing a growing swirl of pollution that has started moving east.
As tensions between the two nations over the disputed Diaoyu/ Senkaku islands continue to rise, China's toxic pollution making its way to Japan will certainly not help relations. Though official statements out of a Japan are careful not to trigger another diplomatic conflict by attributing all the pollution to China just yet, the connection is hard to ignore.
"We can't deny there is an impact from pollution in China," Yasushi Nakajima, an official with the Japanese environment ministry, said in the report.
This isn't the first time China's pollution found its way to Japan. In 2007, a spike in 28 areas in western Japan in the number of people suffering from stinging eyes and throats as a result of pollution had many experts pointing their finger to China. Toshimasa Ohara, the head of the National Institute of Environmental Studies' regional atmospheric modeling program, said China has contributed to the sharp rise in photochemical smog in Japan since 1990.
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