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Friday, August 26, 2005

Construction Noise in Japan

House under construction
騒音公害
According to buyusa.gov the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) announced Japan's total housing starts for May 2005 to be 101,862 units, a 3.0% increase compared to May 2004.

Unfortunately one of them was just across the street and it's the third new house built since January within spitting distance of where I live. So that's 8 solid months of hammering, banging and construction meetings that start before 7am every day with hardly a break, not even at weekends.

The worst sounds are the automatic nail punches and the electronic voices on the trucks as they reverse or are parked with their hazard lights flashing and whirring.

I've been out to remonstrate a couple of times but noise pollution cannot be escaped. My neighbors dog barks endlessly and I can even hear their phone through the walls and the 50 cm gap between our houses. The election's coming up so the political parties' sound trucks will be blasting their inane greetings anytime soon .

A friend in Kyoto with over 15 years in Tokyo and Kyoto reports that despite all the noise he's never heard any of his neighbors having sex as he has in the US. What's (not) going on?

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