Increased emissions of anthropogenic aerosols associated with economic growth can lead to increased concentrations of hazardous air pollutants. In particular, large cities in East Asia have experienced numerous heavy haze episodes. Atmospheric aerosol distributions in East Asia are complex, being influenced by both natural phenomena and human activity, with urban areas in particular being dominated by fine anthropogenic aerosols released from diesel-powered vehicles and industrial activity. In Japan, air pollution levels have been reduced; nevertheless, in recent years, there is increasing concern regarding air pollution caused by fine particulate matter. The origins of air pollution were examined, focusing on the comparison between aerosol properties observed from satellites and that on the ground. Because of their short life spans, concentrations of anthropogenic aerosols are highest over the source regions, and as a result, the climatic impacts of anthropogenic aerosols are also found to be most pronounced in these regions. In this study, aerosol impacts on climate are assessed by numerical model simulations. The direct effects of aerosols include reduced solar radiation, and hence a decrease in surface temperatures. In addition to these changes in the radiation budget, aerosols have a significant potential to change cloud and precipitation fields. These climatic responses to aerosols can manifest far from their source regions with high industrial activities.