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Press Release

FY 2004 Status of Air Pollution

August 29, 2005

In accordance with the Air Pollution Control Law, state of air pollution is constantly monitored throughout Japan at 2,086 monitoring stations by prefectural and ordinance-designated municipal governments. As of March 31, 2005, there are 1,639 ambient air pollution monitoring stations (APMSs) including 9 national stations and 447 roadside air pollution monitoring stations (RAPMSs) including 10 national stations.

1. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)

Environmental quality standards (EQSs) achievement rate for NO2 reached 100% for APMSs for the first time since the EQS was established and 89.2% for RAPMSs. It improved slightly compared to FY 2003 (99.9% for APMSs and 85.7% for RAPMSs) (Table 1, Fig. 1). Annual average concentration was slightly decreased.

2. Suspended particulate matter (SPM)

Compared to FY 2003, the EQS achievement rate for SPM has improved. The achievement rate is 98.5% for APMSs and 96.1% for RAPMSs (92.8% for APMSs and 77.2% for RAPMSs for FY 2003) (Table 2, Fig. 2-1). In recent years, the annual average concentration has decreased slightly (Fig. 2-2).

3. Photochemical oxidant (Ox)

The EQS achievement rate for Ox is only 0.2% for combining APMSs and RAPMSs. The achievement rate is still extremely low (Fig. 3-1). The number of days on which the photochemical oxidant warnings are issued increased compared to FY 2003 (Fig. 3-2), which is approximately same as FY 2002.

4. Sulfur dioxide (SO2)

The EQS achievement rate for SO2 is 99.9% for APMSs and 100% for RAPMSs. The EQS is achieved in the majority of the monitoring stations in recent years (Figs. 4-1 and 4-2).

5. Carbon monoxide (CO)

The EQS for CO is continuously achieved at all monitoring stations (Fig. 5).

6. Air pollution in the areas covered by the Automobile NOx/PM Law

The EQS for NO2 and SPM improved compared to FY 2003 in the areas covered by the Law Concerning Special Measures for Total Emission Reduction of Nitrogen Oxides from Automobiles in Specified Areas (Automobile NOx/PM Law).

Based on the monitoring results, the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) will further enhance the comprehensive efforts to achieve the EQSs through taking measures for emission reduction from factories and business establishments, automobile exhaust gas, dissemination of low-emission vehicles, etc. In line with the Air Pollution Control Law, the MoE shall initiate in FY 2006 the enforcement of the regulation on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) to further accelerate the improvement of air quality.


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