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解决中国污染问题的答案在日本

Michael Fitzpatrick 2013年03月07日

PM2.5现在已经成为中国环境污染问题的一个缩影,各界都在探讨怎么解决这个问题。尽管两国局势紧张,但解决中国污染问题的答案可能就在一水之隔的日本。

    面对不请自来的有害污染云团,日本在做好准备的同时,还加强了向中国转让绿色科技的力度,期望借此解决空气污染问题。

    和中国这个强大邻居修缮关系对日本没什么坏处。“可持续日本”(Japan for Sustainability)是设在东京的非营利性环保组织。这个组织的代表枝广淳子称:“日本已经在通过技术转让来帮助中国减少污染物排放。但这还远远不够。”

    现在,随着沿海地区受到有害雾霾的威胁,日本开始进一步向污染日益严重的中国提供技术援助。最近,为改善双边关系并防止钓鱼岛争端进一步激化,中日两国签定了一份协议,日方承诺进一步和中国分享污染防治技术。两国政府原则上同意促进技术合作,以便遏制日趋严重的空气污染。除中国以外,韩国和日本西南部也都受到了空气污染的影响。

    中国在治理污染和实施大气污染防治法规方面一直行动缓慢。但环境污染带来的社会问题越来越多,促使中国政府采取行动。最近曝光的癌症村和让人难以忍受的城市雾霾浓度更只是进一步增加了中国政府面临的压力。

    在治理空气污染方面,日本似乎是中国的理想合作伙伴。日本经济团体联合会(Japan Business Federation)自然保护协议会事务局局长岩间芳仁认为,毕竟在20世纪60、70年代,日本出现过同样的环境灾害,而日本解决污染问题的途径是制定新法律,同时采用新技术。岩间芳仁说:“过去我们曾有过同样严重的污染,后来我们解决了这些问题,特别是空气污染,所以我们准备在分享空气污染防治技术方面与中国合作。”

    岩间同时指出,在中国运营的日本工厂实施了严格的环保控制,可以为中国经营者作出示范。

    中国政府的首要任务是控制所谓的PM2.5污染物。这种有害浮尘的直径只有千分之二点五毫米,它能深入人体组织,引发严重的健康问题。日方官员表示,日本的技术有助于追寻PM2.5污染源,还能预测它的扩散情况。

    就在中日两国政府确定环保合作细节的同时,夏普(Sharp)、松下(Panasonic)等日本私营企业通过在中国销售空气净化电器获得了意料之外的不菲收入。经中国认证,夏普的空气净化器可消除99%的PM2.5颗粒。这款产品今年1月份在华销量达到了上年同期的3倍。夏普一位女发言人称:“几年来中国消费者的健康和环境意识不断提高,让我们的空气净化器在中国市场有了极好的销路。”

    尽管中国民间存在抵制日货行为,但日本经济团体联合会官员坚持表示,中日两国的贸易关系仍然非常理想。观察人士指出,日本在中国有广泛的商业利益。倘若中国确实认真对待污染防治问题,日本将通过供应链获得巨大收益。

    As Japan braces for a Chinese export it never asked for -- toxic clouds of pollution -- it is stepping up its green technology transfers in hopes they will clean the air.

    Mending fences with its powerful neighbor wouldn't hurt either. "Japan already helps China to reduce emissions of pollutants through technology transfer," says Junko Edahiro, chief executive of Japan for Sustainability, an environmental NGO in Tokyo. "But there is much more to be done."

    Now, with hazardous smog threatening its coast, Japan is offering further tech know-how to an increasingly desperately polluted China. Recently, as part of a mission to improve bilateral relations and avert further aggression over disputed islands claimed by both countries, a new accord was signed that promises to increase sharing of pollution-control technology with China. Tokyo and Beijing have essentially agreed to facilitate technological cooperation in a bid to halt the appalling air pollution that is causing havoc not just in China but in neighboring Korea and southwestern Japan.

    China has been slow to adopt measures to control pollution and enforce its clean air act. But increased social unrest in China over its environment has goaded the politburo into action. The recent revelation of so-called cancer villages within China and intolerable levels of city smog have only added to the pressure.

    It seems Japan is a perfect partner for China in its bid to clean up. After all, Japan had the same track record of environmental disasters in the 1960s and 1970s, explains Yoshihito Iwama, the environmental bureau director of the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren in Japan. Its plight was solved by creating new laws and technologies to deal with pollution. "We have experienced some of the same terrible pollution problems on our past," he says. "And we have overcome such problems, especially those related to air pollution so we are ready to cooperate with China on sharing our anti-air-pollution technology."

    He also points out that Japanese factories already operating in China abide by strict environmental controls that could be a showcase for Chinese factory owners.

    High on the agenda now is to prevent the disbursement of so-called PM2.5 air pollution -- hazardous airborne particles only 2.5 thousandths of a millimeter across -- that can penetrate deep into human tissue to cause serious health problems. Japan has the technology to help trace the origins of PM2.5 and to predict its disbursement, say Japanese officials.

    While both governments iron out the details of the accord, private firms such as Sharp and Panasonic (PC) have been reaping an unexpected windfall selling electronics in China that help purify the air. Sales of Sharp's air purifiers -- which China certifies "remove 99% of PM2.5" -- tripled in January compared with the same month of 2012. "Awareness of health and environment among consumers in China has increased in the past few years, so our air purifiers are selling extremely well there," says a Sharp spokeswoman.

    Despite an informal boycott of Japanese goods in China, Kedieran officials insists that trade relations are still excellent between the two countries. Japan has extensive business interests in China and will benefit hugely in the supply chain if China does get serious about detoxing its landscape, say observers.

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