Smog that has engulfed Japan's cities and rural areas for the first time in 30 years has alarmed the government prompting it to issue warnings to 28 prefectures in the country. Experts blame neighbouring China for the "photochemical smog", created when sunlight reacts with exhaust from cars and factories. The particles can lead to difficulties in breathing and headaches. "There has been a rise in average levels of photochemical oxidants across Japan since the 1990s. But a substantial part of the rise has come from increasing emissions in China. We're looking into what percent this factor has accounted for," says Toshimasa Ohara, head of the National Institute of Environmental Studies' regional atmospheric modelling section. Experts have also blamed domestic factors like emissions from cars, paint and gasoline vapours.
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