Mon, 02 Oct 2023

TOKYO, May 30 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government said Tuesday it plans to accelerate work to cut down and replace cedar trees, a source of pollen known to trigger hay fever, cause allergies for millions of people in Japan.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tetsuro Nomura and other officials approved the strategy on Tuesday with the goal of cutting the pollen count in half over 30 years.

Japan has 4.31 million hectares of planted cedar forests generating pollen. The strategy aims to increase the size of such forests cut down to some 70,000 hectares a year over a decade from 50,000 hectares at present.

The government will also promote the replacement of existing cedar trees with those producing less pollen or other trees, in a bid to make cedar saplings with less pollen to account for over 90 percent of all cedar saplings in 10 years.

Kishida said that hay fever is a cause of suffering for many citizens and a social problem that has not been addressed effectively, adding that a long-term approach is needed to tackle it.

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