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Cedar pollen affects many, but not in Okinawa areas

Date Posted: 2008-08-15

Cedar trees are filled with pollen, and the widespread growth of the trees across Japan are causing increasing pollen allergy problems.

Okinawa Prefecture’s Forest Resource Study Center says the mainland problem doesn’t appear to be bothering Okinawa’s citizens. Using data from a three-year study just completed, officials say there’s no evidence of pollen allergies in Okinawa. The study, in fact, notes there’s little cedar pollen even making its way into the air in Okinawa.

Okinawa tourism agencies have been promoting the fact Okinawa is virtually allergy free, a boon for luring tourists. Brochures are citing statistics urging visitors to vacation in the islands, where pollen allergies are virtually non-existent. Statistics were compiled from Haebaru, Nago City, Nakijin, Ogimi, Kunigami, among the 13 test sites.

Cedar trees are not all that common in Okinawa, with only 225.2 square meters of cedar forestation. Tourist Agency JTB is selling its tours to Okinawa by pitching the point take a “Pollen Shelter Tour to Okinawa.” The travel agency says it has no shortage of tourists taking them up on the tours.

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