Smog in China has reached alarming levels as its rapid industrialization spews ever-more toxic particles into the air. Over the past month or so, the problem has become particularly acute, raising health concerns in neighboring parts of Asia, including Japan.
The beginning of China's current air pollution problem that affects Japan has been traced back to early January and centers on Beijing and areas east of the capital.
As smoke from coal-burning power plants combines with vehicle exhaust and factory emissions, it produces a toxic smog that can become especially bad in winter.
So far, western Japan has taken the brunt of the pollution.
Fukuoka has reported that PM2.5 levels exceeded the daily maximum of 35 micrograms/cu. meter on three days in January.
The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )