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Deaths from air pollution Japan 2010-2019

In 2019, the number of deaths due to air pollution in Japan was estimated at 42.6 thousand. Since 2010, the number of deaths has risen continuously, making Japan one of the countries with a high number of deaths attributable to air pollution exposure.

Health risks and sources of air pollution

The most common air pollutant is particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, also called PM 2.5. The air pollutants can invade the lungs and cause asthma, cancer, heart diseases, allergies, and other health conditions.
A major cause of air pollution is fossil fuel combustion, which is produced from power plants and industrial facilities. In Japan, fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal had the largest share of the primary energy supply. Another cause is carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector since PM 2.5 is generated from sources such as automobile exhaust fumes. Therefore, most pollution areas are highly populated, urban areas.

Measures to improve air quality in Japan

In 2020, the Tokyo government announced its intention to improve the air quality with stricter air pollution regulations. The new target for Tokyo's level of PM 2.5 is set at 10 micrograms or less per cubic meter by fiscal year 2030. To decrease air pollution, Japan aims to reduce its use of fossil fuels and increase its nuclear and renewable energy share. Renewables accounted for a share of primary energy supply of almost nine percent, whereas nuclear energy made up about three percent in 2018. In recent years, these measures began to show their effect as figures for the total annual greenhouse gas emissions indicated a decline.

Number of deaths attributable to air pollution in Japan between 2010 and 2019

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Sources

Release date

October 2020

Region

Japan

Survey time period

2010 to 2019

Supplementary notes

The source does not state a specific date of publication. Therefore, the date of access has been used.

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Pollution in Japan"

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