Air Pollution in Japan

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Air Quality".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021) | Viewed by 27129

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Integrated Atmospheric Environment (IIAE), Professor Emeritus, Ehime University, Ehime 790-8566, Japan
Interests: photochemical air pollution; air pollution trends and countermeasures
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Japan Automobile Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
Interests: air quality model; emission inventory

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In Japan, serious air pollution has been apparent since around the 1950s, but local air pollution has greatly improved, mainly due to the progress of institutional and technical measures since the 1970s. However, the appearance of air pollution in Japan is changing due to the influence of air pollution sources in Asia, and also due to global climate change. In order to record Japan’s atmospheric environment passage of time and to identify what we are going to face in the future, we invite papers in our latest Special Issue, “Air Pollution in Japan”, which focus on air pollution trends throughout Japan or in each region of Japan over the past 30 years, the effects of countermeasures, analysis of the latest atmospheric environment, etc.

Dr. Shinji Wakamatsu
Dr. Tazuko Morikawa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Air pollution
  • Air quality observations
  • Chemical transfer models
  • Receptor models
  • Ozone
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Particulate matter (PM)
  • Particulate matter chemical characterization
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Emission inventory
  • Health effects
  • Countermeasures and controls
  • Long-range transport
  • Urban environments
  • Acid deposition

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 4831 KiB  
Article
30 Years of Air Quality Trends in Japan
by Akiyoshi Ito, Shinji Wakamatsu, Tazuko Morikawa and Shinji Kobayashi
Atmosphere 2021, 12(8), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12081072 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 10046
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to obtain information that will contribute to measures and research needed to further improve the air quality in Japan. The trends and characteristics of air pollutant concentrations, especially PM2.5, ozone, and related substances, over the past [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to obtain information that will contribute to measures and research needed to further improve the air quality in Japan. The trends and characteristics of air pollutant concentrations, especially PM2.5, ozone, and related substances, over the past 30 years, are analyzed, and the relationships between concentrations and emissions are discussed quantitatively. We found that PM2.5 mass concentrations have decreased, with the largest reduction in elemental carbon (EC) as the PM2.5 component. The concentrations of organic carbon (OC) have not changed significantly compared to other components, suggesting that especially VOC emissions as precursors need to be reduced. In addition, the analysis of the differences in PM2.5 concentrations between the ambient and the roadside showed that further research on non-exhaust particles is needed. For NOx and SO2, there is a linear relationship between domestic anthropogenic emissions and atmospheric concentrations, indicating that emission control measures are directly effective in the reduction in concentrations. Also, recent air pollution episodes and the effect of reduced economic activity, as a consequence of COVID-19, on air pollution concentrations are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Japan)
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16 pages, 2160 KiB  
Article
Trends in PM2.5 Concentration in Nagoya, Japan, from 2003 to 2018 and Impacts of PM2.5 Countermeasures
by Makiko Yamagami, Fumikazu Ikemori, Hironori Nakashima, Kunihiro Hisatsune, Kayo Ueda, Shinji Wakamatsu and Kazuo Osada
Atmosphere 2021, 12(5), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12050590 - 1 May 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3140
Abstract
In Japan, various countermeasures have been undertaken to reduce the atmospheric concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We evaluated the extent to which these countermeasures were effective in reducing PM2.5 concentrations by analyzing the long-term concentration trends of the major [...] Read more.
In Japan, various countermeasures have been undertaken to reduce the atmospheric concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We evaluated the extent to which these countermeasures were effective in reducing PM2.5 concentrations by analyzing the long-term concentration trends of the major components of PM2.5 and their emissions in Nagoya City. PM2.5 concentrations decreased by 53% over the 16-year period from fiscal years 2003 to 2018 in Nagoya City. Elemental carbon (EC) was the component of PM2.5 with the greatest decrease in concentration over the 16 years, decreasing by 4.3 μg/m3, followed by SO42− (3.0 μg/m3), organic carbon (OC) (2.0 μg/m3), NH4+ (1.6 μg/m3), and NO3 (1.3 μg/m3). The decrease in EC concentration was found to be caused largely by the effect of diesel emission control. OC concentrations decreased because of the effects of volatile organic compound (VOC) emission regulations for stationary sources and reductions in VOCs emitted by vehicles and construction machinery. NO3 concentrations decreased alongside decreased contributions from vehicles, construction machinery, and stationary sources, in descending order of the magnitude of decrease. Although these findings identify some source control measures that have been effective in reducing PM2.5, they also reveal the ineffectiveness of some recent countermeasures for various components, such as those targeting OC concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Japan)
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19 pages, 2026 KiB  
Article
Organic Molecular Tracers in PM2.5 at Urban Sites during Spring and Summer in Japan: Impact of Secondary Organic Aerosols on Water-Soluble Organic Carbon
by Fumikazu Ikemori, Rie Nishimura, Shinji Saito, Masayuki Akiyama, Shigekazu Yamamoto, Akihiro Iijima and Seiji Sugata
Atmosphere 2021, 12(5), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12050579 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2352
Abstract
To understand the characteristics of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) and estimate their impact on water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) in urban areas in Japan, we measured 17 organic tracers using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry from particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm [...] Read more.
To understand the characteristics of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) and estimate their impact on water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) in urban areas in Japan, we measured 17 organic tracers using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry from particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 2.5 μm collected at five urban sites in Japan during spring and summer. Most anthropogenic, monoterpene-derived, and isoprene-derived SOA tracers showed meaningful correlations with potential ozone in both these seasons. These results indicate that oxidants play an important role in SOAs produced during both seasons in urban cities in Japan. WSOC was significantly affected by anthropogenic and monoterpene-derived SOAs during spring and three SOA groups during summer at most of the sites sampled. The total estimated secondary organic carbons (SOCs), including mono-aromatic, di-aromatic, monoterpene-derived, and isoprene-derived SOCs, could explain the WSOC fractions of 39–63% in spring and 46–54% in summer at each site. Notably, monoterpene-derived and mono-aromatic SOCs accounted for most of the total estimated SOCs in both spring (85–93%) and summer (75–82%) at each site. These results indicate that SOAs significantly impact WSOC concentrations during both these seasons at urban sites in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Japan)
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25 pages, 7558 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Changes over Time in Factors, Including the Impact of Meteorology on Photochemical Oxidant Concentration and Causative Atmospheric Pollutants in Kawasaki
by Akinori Fukunaga, Takaharu Sato, Kazuki Fujita, Daisuke Yamada, Shinya Ishida and Shinji Wakamatsu
Atmosphere 2021, 12(4), 446; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12040446 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3052
Abstract
To clarify the relationship between changes in photochemical oxidants’ (Ox) concentrations and their precursors in Kawasaki, a series of analyses were conducted using data on Ox, their precursors, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and meteorology that had been monitored throughout [...] Read more.
To clarify the relationship between changes in photochemical oxidants’ (Ox) concentrations and their precursors in Kawasaki, a series of analyses were conducted using data on Ox, their precursors, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and meteorology that had been monitored throughout the city of Kawasaki for 30 years from 1990 to 2019. The trend in air temperature was upward, wind speed was downward, and solar radiation was upward, indicating an increasing trend in meteorological factors in which Ox concentrations tend to be higher. Between 1990 and 2013, the annual average Ox increased throughout Kawasaki and remained flat after that. The three-year moving average of the daily peak increased until 2015, and after that, it exhibited a slight decline. The amount of generated Ox is another important indicator. To evaluate this, a new indicator, the daytime production of photochemical oxidant (DPOx), was proposed. DPOx is defined by daytime averaged Ox concentrations less the previous day’s nighttime averaged Ox concentrations. The trend in DPOx from April to October has been decreasing since around 2006, and it was found that this indicator reflects the impact of reducing emissions of NOx and VOCs in Kawasaki. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Japan)
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12 pages, 2856 KiB  
Article
Concentrations and Sources of Atmospheric PM, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Nitropolycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Kanazawa, Japan
by Kazuichi Hayakawa, Ning Tang, Wanli Xing, Pham Kim Oanh, Akinori Hara and Hiroyuki Nakamura
Atmosphere 2021, 12(2), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12020256 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3008
Abstract
PM2.5 (fine particles with diameters 2.5 micrometers and smaller) and PM>2.5 were separately collected in Kanazawa, Japan in every season, from the spring of 2017 to the winter of 2018, and nine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and six nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [...] Read more.
PM2.5 (fine particles with diameters 2.5 micrometers and smaller) and PM>2.5 were separately collected in Kanazawa, Japan in every season, from the spring of 2017 to the winter of 2018, and nine polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and six nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) were respectively determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence and chemiluminescence detections. The atmospheric concentrations of both the PAHs and NPAHs showed seasonal changes (highest in the winter and lowest in the summer), which differed from the variations in the total suspended particulate matter (TSP) and PM2.5 amounts (which were highest in the spring). The contributions of major sources to the combustion-derived particulate (Pc) in the PM2.5 were calculated using the 1-nitropyrene-pyrene (NP) method, using pyrene and 1-nitropyrene as the representative markers of PAHs and NPAHs, respectively. The annual average concentration of Pc accounted for only 2.1% of PM2.5, but showed the same seasonal variation as PAHs. The sources of Pc were vehicles (31%) and coal heating facilities/industries (69%). A backward trajectory analysis showed that the vehicle-derived Pc was mainly from Kanazawa and its surroundings, and that coal heating facilities/industry-derived Pc was transported from city areas in central and northern China in the winter, and during the Asian dust event in the spring. These results show that large amounts of PAHs were transported over a long range from China during the winter. Even in the spring, after the coal heating season was over in China, PAHs were still transported to Japan after Asian dust storms passed through Chinese city areas. By contrast, the main contributors of NPAHs were vehicles in Kanazawa and its surroundings. The recent Pc concentrations were much lower than those in 1999. This decrease was mostly attributed to the decrease in the contribution of vehicle emissions. Thus, the changes in the atmospheric concentrations of Pc, PAHs and NPAHs in Kanazawa were strongly affected not only by the local emissions but also by long-range transport from China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Japan)
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Review

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20 pages, 14989 KiB  
Review
Review of the JCAP/JATOP Air Quality Model Study in Japan
by Yoshiaki Shibata and Tazuko Morikawa
Atmosphere 2021, 12(8), 943; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12080943 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3046
Abstract
Around 1997, when JCAP (the Japan Clean Air Program) began, Japan’s atmospheric environment did not meet the environmental standards for NO2 and suspended particle matters (SPM), and strict reduction requirements for automobile exhaust gas were required. To achieve environmental standards, further cooperation [...] Read more.
Around 1997, when JCAP (the Japan Clean Air Program) began, Japan’s atmospheric environment did not meet the environmental standards for NO2 and suspended particle matters (SPM), and strict reduction requirements for automobile exhaust gas were required. To achieve environmental standards, further cooperation between the automobile technology and fuel technology sectors was needed. In Europe and the United States, Auto-Oil programs were being implemented to reduce automobile exhaust gas, and JCAP was established as an Auto-Oil program in Japan. The Air Quality Model Study was one of the research themes and research activities continued for a total of 21 years, including JCAP I/II and JATOP I/II/III (the Japan AuTo Oil Program). JATOP was the successor program of JCAP. This paper describes the outline and main results of the JCAP/JATOP Air Quality Model Study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Japan)
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