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Thanks, China!

   It seems like the more China develops and "modernizes", the more it impacts us here in Japan, and not always in the most positive of ways.

   At first, our biggest concern here in the western part of Japan was the Asian dust, known as kôsa or yellow sand in Japanese, which would blow in from the deserts of eastern and western China every spring; now, we must contend with China's smog, too.

   Last Saturday (Feb. 23), air pollution levels exceeded Japan's recommended limit with PM2.5 particulates reaching a density of 50.5ugm/m3. As densities above 35ugm/m3 pose a health hazard, the prefectural government issued a warning, advising residents to wear face masks and to forego hanging laundry out to dry.

   Every time it gets as bad as this, I can't help wonder what it must be like in China. It's an awfully steep price to pay for (cough-cough) economic growth. 


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