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Warmer Temperatures Create New Industries in Japan

Posted August. 06, 2009 08:24,   


The world is getting warming year after year. The Japanese capital of Tokyo has seen its average temperature rise more than three degrees Celsius over the past 130 years.

The effects of global warming are not limited to a rise in world surface temperatures. The phenomenon leads to climate change and, in turn, damage from floods stemming from heavy torrential rains, frequent lightening, and the emergence of new variants of pests.

Tackling climate change provides new business opportunities, however, according to the Japanese weekly Nikkei Business. Nikkei’s latest edition featured the emerging subtropical industry.

○ Flood-proof homes

Massive typhoons and heavy torrential rains are two of the major effects brought on by global warming. Homes in Japan are frequently inundated by sudden and unexpected downpours of more than 100 millimeters per hour.

According to Japan’s central weather agency, Tokyo experienced more than 170 sudden downpours last year. Residential and commercial areas in the city’s Nakano district were hit hardest because they are on covered streams.

As a result, the housing company Asahi Kasei Homes began building houses that can withstand floods. In a three-story house covering 155 square meters, the first floor is made with columns and serves as a parking lot. By standardizing housing models, the company can easily build such houses and cut construction costs by half. It spends 442,000 U.S. dollars for each house.

Since the company began building such houses, it has seen the number of orders more than double every year.

○ Pesticides for new variants of pests

The pesticide manufacturer Fumakira based in Hiroshima Prefecture opened a new market by producing pesticides for new variants of pests. The emergence of the new variants stemming from Tokyo’s changing climate to subtropical gave the company a new business opportunity.

The new pests include variants of cockroaches, ants and centipedes that flourish in a tropical climate. In the past, they were not found in urban areas. In addition, such pests begin gathering from March or April, three months earlier than before.

○ Heat island phenomenon

Lightning information provider Franklin Japan in Kanagawa has changed its main business line. The company had focused on setting up base stations equipped with electronic sensors in 29 areas in Japan and providing golf courses and factories with lightning information.

Now, it is providing individuals and companies with documents certifying damage caused by lightning. Such individuals and companies use the documents in filing insurance claims.

As lightning strikes every several seconds in Tokyo, more people are seeking out the company.

As Japanese cities suffer from the heat island phenomenon in which hot air engulfs cities and raises temperatures, the construction company Fujita developed a new way to stem the phenomenon when building roads.

The company said it can drop the surface temperature by more than one or two degrees Celsius by using materials that hold rainwater and paint that reflects infrared rays.