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Keeping close eye on the sky to free our society of air pollution

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About half a century ago, Osaka’s Nishi-Yodogawa Ward was in perpetual gloom, even in broad daylight.

Situated downwind of a heavy industrial zone, the air in the neighborhood was thick with black or yellow smoke from chemical plants and steel mills.

“You couldn’t see Mount Rokkosan and Mount Ikomayama, even on sunny days. I had to drive with headlights on, even in the daytime,” recalled Kimio Moriwaki, 83, a retired taxi driver.

Residents would go to the factories to complain, only to be turned away and told to mind their own business.

Alarmed by the growing number of people developing throat and lung problems,........

© The Asahi Shimbun