China Smog Spreads to Japan
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 5, 2013 11:08 AM EST
The month-long smog hanging over China had been blown over to Japan's skies, putting another strain to the relations of the two countries riled by a diplomatic rift over coveted Senkaku Islands.
"China is our neighbour, and all sorts of problems happen between us all the time," Takaharu Abiko was quoted by the AFP. "It is very worrying. This is dangerous pollution, like poison, and we can't protect ourselves. It's scary."
Although the Ministry of Environment of Japan expect the weather to improve by Wednesday, with the smog blowing from Beijing to slowly if not totally recede, it advised residents in the west of Japan to continue to wear masks and close their windows.
Atsushi Shimizu, from Japan's National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), confirmed the particulate matter contained in the toxic smog pollution hovering in the country's air zone, recorded at 50 microgrammes, is well above government-imposed limits of 35 microgrammes.
Authorities initially thought the cause of the hazy weather was the yellow sand from desert regions of Mongolia.
But "at this time of year they are definitely not yellow sands, so they're toxic particles," Shimizu said. He advised people "with respiratory diseases should be careful."
"Access to our air-pollution monitoring system has been almost impossible since last week, and the telephone here has been constantly ringing because worried people keep asking us about the impact on health," an environment ministry official said.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- China Military PLA Drills Affect Flights, Hundreds Cancelled
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: EU Feared Won't Ever Enforce Sanctions on Russia; All Talk, No Force
- U.S. Flights to Israel Now Lifted, Flights To and From Tel Aviv Resume – FAA
- Reserve Bank of New Zealand Raises Interest Rates Due to 'Unsustainable' Kiwi
- Embattled Malaysia Airlines Could Run Out of Cash 2015; Diverts Plane Over Another War Zone After MH17 Crash
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales
- HTC Google Nexus 8 Release Date Imminent with New Nexus 7 Deals, Two New Tablets Soon