Climate change is not a recent trend. As the urbanization progresses in the world, climate change affects the societies and the people in global context. Kameyama (2017) claims that the climate change issue is not only a physical incident; it is an issue that involves political, financial, and social measurements. The issue, in this manner, may be surrounded in an assortment of ways depending on which measurement is being considered as the central concern. Besides the countries all over the world have been taken action to climate change, Japan has made the countermeasures. Climate change has affected the urban areas of Japan largely, with the increasing temperature, increasing rainfall, and unusual weather, although the Japanese government and some local governments are taking countermeasures against it.
Increasing temperature causes several problems in the big cities like Tokyo or Osaka. This increasing temperature in urban areas is called “Heat Island” phenomenon. According to the latest JMA data, increment of yearly average temperature during 1931-2015 at Tokyo is 3.2°C/century, which is the biggest among the 10 biggest Japanese cities, and bigger than the statistics of 1.4°C per century found the middle value of the other JMA stations (JMA climate change monitoring report, 2016, as cited in Matsumoto, Fujibe, Takahashi, 2017). In addition to this, one of the biggest problems is health problem such as heat stroke. In fact, more than 40,000 individuals have been hospitalized every year since 2010 (FDMA, 2014, as cited in Kameyama, 2017). However, reducing energy consumption may help find an answer to heat island. Balaban and Oliveira (2014) claim that crucial extent of vitality utilization and carbon discharge is driven by commercial and private buildings in cities. As a countermeasure, “Yokohama Smart City Program”, which intends to lessen carbon exhalation was made public. Consequently, as a result of the introduction of a new technology and system, lessoning in CO2 release was 17,094kg each year since the project published. (Balaban and Oliveira, 2014). Moreover, this Yokohama’s project might be a successful case as it indicated one of the answers.
As a second factor of urban climate change, unexpected heavy rain often causes a number of problems to the society and human life in urban areas. Fujibe et al. (2016) discovered that this conspicuous intensive rain happened from evening to early evening especially in summer season. This trend is notably recent and getting worse. For example, it disrupts the public transportations such as railway services or car traffic. As an illustration, Tokai Heavy Rain happened in 2000 hit a dense and business area, which caused business interruption and functional fragility (Yang, Kajitani, Tatano & Jiang, 2016). Furthermore, this heavy rain may be a threat to human life. For instance, a flood happened in Fukuoka city where about 1.53 million people live, and 70% of the watershed area where around 180,000 people live had been made to evacuate (Yamashita, Watanabe & Shimitani, 2016). Nevertheless, national and local governments of Japan have been managing basic surge control ventures, such as stream refinement and the development of redirection channels and flood management offices. For instance, the Tokyo metropolitan government had been working on planning and installing of underground flood managing pool to lessen the possibility of flooding. As a result of the construction, the reservoirs have a store room of 300,000 m3 (Morita, 2011). In this way, the governments should take action to the potential risk as the disaster may occur unexpectedly.
Besides heat island and unexpected heavy rain, climate change causes extreme weather, which has a negative influence on human behaviors and economics. For example, some events in winter were delayed or canceled because of unseasonably warm temperature for winter, which have brought about more rainy days (JMA, 2016). In addition, abnormal weather impacts on the Japanese iconic event and flower, “Hanami (Cherry blossom)”. According to JMA Climate Change Report (2016), it is virtually certain that cherry blossoms have been flowering earlier, and the flowering delaying trend at a rate of 2.9 days per decade. Thus, it might be possible that the unusual weather and increasing temperature change the human behaviors. Moreover, unusual weather has an influence on economics as well. According to Isimaru (2015), the unseasonable weather caused consumption to fall, and real GDP slipping by 1.6% in that year. However, as a measure of the government, based on the findings obtained, through provision of information relating to unusual weather or climate change, the government promote adaption efforts by business between the public and private sectors, as well as the development of adaptation technologies (JMA, 2016). Besides the measurement for unusual weather, the cooperation between companies and the government is inevitable in this field.
In conclusion, climate change, such as heat island, unpredicted torrential rain, and abnormal weather has a serious influence on urban area in Japan in many ways to a large extent. These crucial climate change could not be solved without the public-private cooperation. In addition to the public-private collaboration, the government should work together with NGOs and local governments to raise the people’s awareness of climate change. More importantly, people should think about what they could do for the environment. To illustrate, Kameyama (2017) claims that the people might be convinced that there is nothing to help with the negative impacts of climate change. In addition, Kameyama (2017) maintains that “It is my hope the Japanese people will notice things that they have lost in their traditional culture, such as the seasonal colors and the natural landscape, before it is too late to take action”. Therefore, it could be considered that it is all up to ourselves. The world is in a crisis to a certain extent, so people should think and act locally and globally.