Japan air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution

 (local time)
Good
Moderate
Unhealthy for sensitive groups
Unhealthy
Very unhealthy
Hazardous
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Japan air quality analysis and statistics

Japan has faced air pollution along with its industrialization. Especially during the 1960’s, when the country had had a rapid economy growth period, citizens’ health was seriously threatened by air pollution-related diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and dyspnea. After several lawsuits from these patients, the government set secure regulations towards factory smoke emissions to improve the environment.


The main pollutants of concern in Japan change with the seasons; in spring the main concern is pollen, and in summer concern shifts to photochemical smog which causes ozone. In winter, the main pollutants are usually PM2.5 and PM10. These pollutants are mostly coming from transportation and residential activity. However, transboundary air pollution from neighboring countries can also be a significant cause of air pollution in Japan. During the months of February and May, Northwest winds can blow around China and Korea, and carry some pollutants to Japan.


Aside from transboundary air pollution, the government has set clear regulations to limit the production of domestic emissions. For example, regulation includes giving subsidiaries or tax reduction for those who own an eco-friendly car such as hybrid, electronic and hydrogen car. Also, the government set up an observation system called Atmospheric Environmental Regional Observation System (AEROS) and publish the data online every day. Moreover, the local government alerts its residents when the concentrations of major pollutants in the air has over a certain number persistently.


日本における大気汚染及び環境問題は国の産業が発展すると同時に重要視されてきました。高度経済成長期であった1960年代には工場からの廃棄物により人々の健康が脅かされ、よっか市ぜん息や水俣病など様々な病気が蔓延しました。日本政府はこのような病気に罹患した患者からの訴訟を受け、各工場の廃棄物処理に関する法整備を行い、環境改善に取り組んできました。


現在でも日本国内では環境問題に伴う健康被害に関心はむけられ、季節によって人々の関心は移り替わります。例えば春の時期は花粉がピークを迎え、夏場は光化学スモッグそして冬場は越境大気汚染によるPM2.5やPM10と異なります。この越境大気汚染は、特に2月から5月の間に中国や韓国など大気汚染がひどい地域に低緯度で吹く偏西風によって、日本に飛んできます。


越境大気汚染のほかにも日本政府は国全体で大気汚染のリスクを下げるために、さまざまな政令を発布しています。例えば、エコカーを持っている家庭には税金の減額や補助金によって国民のエコカーへの関心を高めています。また、環境省大気汚染物質広域監視システム(通称 そらまめ君)を設置し大気汚染データを国民に逐一公表しています。同時に大気汚染物質の空気中に含まれる濃度がある一定の基準を超えた場合は、大気汚染注意報を発令させます。

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