Osaka issued its first pm2.5 warning today. But it wasn't the only place in Japan to do so.
Japan's neighbor China is covered with pollution. It's a serious problem, and the long standing fear in Japan has been that the dirty air, which is rife in concentration of 2.5-micrometer particles, will drift over.
There is real reason for concern: These super-fine particles can enter the lungs and even the blood stream. Worse, they can cause respiratory problems and cancer.
Warnings for the pm2.5 readings were made in prefectures across Japan, including Osaka Prefecture, Kagawa Prefecture, Fukui Prefecture, and Niigata Prefecture.
As you can see below, pollution is drifting over from China into South Korea as well.
As MBS News reports, this is the first time Osaka has issued a pm2.5 warning. Other prefectures, such as Niigata, Kagawa and Fukui, also issued their first warnings.
Today, while pm2.5 reached over 90.4 micrograms per cubic meter in certain areas of Osaka, it was not the first time pm2.5 level have been measured in the city. Last fall, pm2.5 was recorded in Osaka as well as in Fukuoka. The Japan Times reported then that these high readings were due to the pollution in China. In spring 2013, Tokyo saw pm2.5 sandstorms swept in from China.
As mentioned above, this is the first pm2.5 warning in Osaka.
"It's a serious issue that even in Japan, we are impacted by China's environmental issues," said one Osaka resident interviewed by MBS earlier today.
Below you can see images of the situation across Japan, including Tokyo:
Kyodo News notes that the recent wave of pollution hitting Japan comes as China is currently battling harsh air conditions.
Residents in Japan are being advised to wear a face mask when outside, keep their windows up, and not to hang laundry outside.
ＰＭ２．５ 大阪府が初の注意喚起 [MBS]
To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.