Tokyo Daily Shots

August 16, 2009 — General

(Tokyo) — Japan is facing the disastrous impact of climate change. Shingetsu News Agency spoke with representatives from the World Wildlife Fund and the Asian institute of Management about the threat of global warming, check the latest blaux portable ac review.

Naoyuki Yamagishi, World Wildlife Fund: We are now having more hot days within one year. We also have increasing heat strokes in ordinary people’s lives.

Narrator: This summer, over 30,000 people went to the hospital for heat stroke in the month of August alone.

Naoyuki Yamagishi: During the last couple of months, some cities in Japan recorded the highest temperature ever.

Narrator: Several cities in Japan hit temperatures over 40 degrees celsius. Such as Kumagaya, Saitama, which hit 41.1 degrees. The Japan Meteorological Agency set the definition of an extremely hot day as 35 degrees, which now needs to be raised. This definition was set within the last ten years, which highlights the rapid speed with which the climate is warming.

Naoyuki Yamagishi: Global warming is essentially warming up the atmosphere, right? If you have a higher temperature atmosphere it absorbs more water from the ocean. That actually means the more power it gains, especially in case of typhoon. We are increasingly having heavy rains these days. Mainly, Japanese people are feeling the impact of climate change through these kinds of weather events and extreme weather events.

Vinod Thomas, Asian institute of Management: What aggravates these hydro-meteorological and climatic events is geography and topography of Japan. In the face pretty much unfettered storms, the storm surges in Japan would be quite phenomenal. Being a relatively small place in terms of the population being high, the density of population also plays a role in making that same exposure. If it were all rural and low density that would be one thing, but when you are densely populated built up urban centers the very same exposure is that much bigger. So for those reasons, the exposure for Japan would be on the high side on a scale.

Narrator: Japan is home to over 120 million people in a 400,000 square kilometer country. That’s one third of the US population in an area smaller than California. A typhoon hitting a relatively small area in Japan can affect a massive number of people, especially in urban centers. Increasingly powerful typhoons are bringing flooding to unexpected areas.

Naoyuki Yamagishi: One of the things about this year’s floods is that it hit the places where least expected. That’s why we had more than two hundred people died because of the floods.

Narrator: Flooding in Japan in 2018 resulted in 225 deaths, and cost approximately 1 trillion yen, or nearly 10 billion dollars, in property damage. Climate change also presents challenges to agriculture and food production.

Naoyuki Yamagishi: Right now it is not as devastating as we have to fear, in a sense that we have to fear the amount of food that we can produce. But the quality of the food, the quality of the rice is definitely getting hit.

Narrator: Two primary staples of the Japanese diet are fish and rice. Traditionally, the best rice is grown in the northwest of Japan, such as in Niigata prefecture. Now, rising temperatures are pushing the optimal range for rice production north to Hokkaido, which is bad for the northwest, and not necessarily good for Hokkaido.

Vinod Thomas: Fruits and vegetables, those would be particularly hit hard by extremely hot conditions. Hokkaido is like a breadbasket, it’s like a storehouse of agriculture. Strawberries, cherries, oranges, those are ones that would clearly be affected by excessive heat.