Noise from Rugby World Cup tourism worries councils in Japan



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There will be a massive roar in Japanese stadiums hosting the Rugby World Cup, which starts on Friday September 20, but it will barely compete with the street noise in the country with the world's worst acoustic pollution problem.

But a new World Cup-related survey has highlighted the concerns of more than a quarter of Japanese councils about noise levels from visitors, along with other issues related to the Rugby tourist boom.

The damaging effects on people's hearing are well documented by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which in its 2018 report named Japan officially as the noisiest country in the world. City noise is the main culprit, with train stations, such as Ueno and Tameike-Sanno, generating (according to a study in 2008) 100 decibels, almost double the WHO’s recommended limit of 53 dB

This, for one reason, is because city life in Japan involves a culture of alerts and announcements, as loud and intrusive as possible, bringing sales info, a torrent of background music spilling out of stores, and local election campaigning when polling is approaching. The walls of buildings are thin and offer little acoustic protection.

The survey, carried out by Kyodo News between May and July, and responded to by 99% of Japan's local governments, included noise among a list of other concerns such as traffic jams and trespassing on private property. Fifty percent of municipal councils, however, believe they are unlikely to encounter problems.

Thanks to the World Cup, both Japan and its prospective visitors for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics will have a better idea of who makes the most noise: tourists or their hosts.

Source: Japan Today