Heat Wave in Japan on July 30 2019 07:18 PM (UTC).
Deaths due to heatstroke reached 101 since July 1 in Tokyo's 23 wards, according to the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office. The tally to Aug. 18 showed that people aged 65 and older accounted for 90 percent of the deaths. More than 90 percent of all fatalities occurred indoors. The deceased comprised 53 men and 48 women ranging in age from their 40s to their 90s. Ninety-one victims were aged 65 or older. By age group, those in their 70s accounted for the highest number of deaths at 42, followed by 31 people in their 80s. Ten victims were aged 65 or younger. Twenty-eight people died between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 32 people died between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. Of the 94 people who died indoors, 40 were located in a room with an air conditioner installed. But in 38 of the cases, the appliance had not been switched on. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the daily low temperature in central Tokyo was 25 degrees or higher for 24 consecutive days from July 26 to Aug. 18, making it the second-longest hot spell since 1876, when records were first kept. The agency said daytime temperatures for the next two weeks will be in the lower 30-degree range. Even if the sweltering heat eases, authorities urged people to take measures against heatstroke.
About a dozen people felt unwell due to the high temperature at a rowing test event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games on Sunday, despite ongoing preparations for preventing heatstroke during test events nationwide. The starting time of a marathon swimming test event was abruptly moved forward as a countermeasure against heat. The weather during the actual Games less than a year from now is a matter of concern. A 52-year-old company employee from Saitama who visited the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay, where a test event for rowing competitions was held Sunday, said with a sweat-covered face, "I want to come watch Olympic races a year from now, but this extreme heat makes me feel even danger for my life." The Sea Forest Waterway was completed in May. But to reduce the construction costs, only about half of the grandstand with a capacity of 2,000 facing southeast is covered by a roof. Temperature at places directly exposed to sunlight at the facility reached 33.7 C shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday. At the venue, officials of the Tokyo metropolitan government distributed cooling agents and set up tents made with thermal barrier materials for spectators who were waiting for buses. However, one of the spectators displaying symptoms of heatstroke received medical treatment in a medical room. According to the Japan Rowing Association, a total of 10 participating athletes said they felt ill, mainly during an awards ceremony that was held outdoors Sunday. On the same day, a marathon swimming test event was held at Odaiba Marine Park in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Due to the fear of rising water temperatures caused by the extremely hot weather, the starting time of the men's race was moved forward from 10 a.m. to 7 a.m. According to Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), the world swimming body's regulations stipulate that races must be held in water temperatures of 31 C or lower. However, the water temperature at the test event venue had reached 29.9 C as of 5 a.m. on Sunday.
At least 162 people have died from confirmed or suspected heatstroke in Japan this summer amid punishing hot temperatures following the end of the rainy season, calculations by the Mainichi Shimbun show. With a large number of cases taking place indoors when air-conditioning was not used, measures against further deaths are being sought. On the morning of Aug. 7, officers from Tanashi Police Station in western Tokyo discovered two women dead in their home, after receiving a report from a neighbor that 10 days' worth of newspapers had piled up. The women appeared to be a mother and her daughter, aged in their 90s and 60s. Results from an official autopsy show the daughter died from illness around the end of July, and that her mother, who had been under her daughter's care, died shortly thereafter. Although the elder woman's cause of death was not immediately clear, the temperature in the room the women were found climbed as high as 38 degrees Celsius. It was said there were no traces of an air conditioner having been used at the property, and it is suspected the elder woman died from heatstroke. Residents in the neighborhood said they hadn't seen the two outside recently. It was said that the pair occasionally had had bento lunchboxes delivered to their home. A member of the department for elderly residents' support in their city said, "People here look out for older people and we are implementing structures to detect abnormal changes early, but we want to think of more effective means, too." According to national calculations by the Mainichi Shimbun, 95 of the 162 people who had died of suspected or confirmed heatstroke this summer as of Aug. 8 were found indoors, while 55 were found outdoors. There were multiple incidents of people being found collapsed not just in living rooms or bedrooms, but also in their bathrooms. The findings show that among the 95 people found indoors, 62 people, or over 60%, were known to have either had to air-condition but not used it or did not have it installed. There also appear to be two cases in which symptoms developed despite using air-conditioning. Autopsies carried out by the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office on people in the capital's 23 special wards were said to have shown that over 90% of deaths indoors from heatstroke were of those who either did not use air-conditioning or did not have it set up. However, most of the individuals discovered outdoors were said to have been found in their gardens or in fields. There were also cases of people who had collapsed while inside polytunnels used to cultivate plants. Some victims collapsed while riding motorbikes or bicycles. Their symptoms appeared to have developed while they were on the vehicles. Additionally, there was also a report of a person who died while practicing a dance in a character costume. In one other case, a person apparently succumbed to heatstroke after drinking alcohol and then falling asleep in their car while it was parked in the garage. On Aug. 8 in Koto Ward, a 50-year-old man working at the construction site for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic International Broadcasting Center was found collapsed and was subsequently confirmed dead at a hospital. The Metropolitan Police Department's Tokyo Wangan Police Station says it's possible he died from heatstroke. In Tokyo, where the rainy season ended on July 29, hot midsummer days have continued unabated. Yasushi Asari, head of Kitasato University Hospital's Emergency and Disaster Medical Center, reflected, "Ambulance dispatches for elderly people in the mornings have increased. "It seems possible that a large number of people are developing heatstroke because they're not used to leaving air-conditioners on overnight, so they turn it off before they go to bed, and then as they sleep the temperature rises. "As we age, our ability to regulate our own body temperature deteriorates, and there are also cases of people not perceiving changes in temperature, or that they're dehydrated. At the same time, it's important to keep the air conditioner on while setting the temperature at a level that doesn't leave you too cold."
A worker at a Tokyo 2020 Olympics construction site has collapsed and died, organizers said, reportedly of heatstroke as the Japanese capital swelters through a blistering heatwave. The 50-year-old man was found lying on the ground on Thursday afternoon at the site where he had been laying electric cables. He was rushed to hospital but later confirmed dead, according to Tokyo 2020 organizers on Friday. Organizers said the cause of death has not been officially established but several local media cited police as saying they suspect heatstroke. Police were unable to confirm the reports immediately. The death is the third related to Tokyo Olympics construction works after one committed suicide from overwork stress and another got killed in an accident. Tokyo's hot and humid weather is a major concern for Olympic organizers, particularly after the heatwave that engulfed the city last year. After a long rainy season this year, the Japanese capital has again been hit by a deadly heatwave and last week more than 18,000 people had been hospitalized nationwide due to the weather with 57 dying. Organizers have come up with a variety of cooling methods ranging from misting sprays and fans, to potted flower fences that organizers say help "psychologically" cool those around. They have also moved up the starting times for some sports, including the marathon, over fears for athletes' well-being.
An "unprecedented" heatwave in Japan has killed at least 65 people in one week, government officials said Tuesday, with the weather agency now classifying the record-breaking weather as a "natural disaster". In the week to Sunday at least 65 people died of heatstroke while 22,647 people were hospitalized, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said in a statement. Both figures are "the worst-ever for any week during summer" since the agency began recording fatalities resulting from heatstroke on July 2008, an agency spokesman said. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday that a total of 80 people have died from the heat since the beginning of July, and over 35,000 have been hospitalized. Among those killed was six-year-old schoolboy who lost consciousness on his way back from a field trip. "As a record heatwave continues to blanket the country, urgent measures are required to protect the lives of schoolchildren," top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters Tuesday. The government said it would supply funds to ensure all schools are equipped with air conditioners by next summer. Less than half of Japan's public schools have air conditioning, and the figure is only slightly higher at public kindergartens. Suga said the government would also consider extending this year's summer school holidays as the heatwave drags on. On Monday, the city of Kumagaya in Saitama outside Tokyo set a new national heat record, with temperatures hitting 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit). And temperatures over 40 degrees were registered for the first time in Tokyo's metro area, where the government is promoting Uchimizu, a tradition where water is sprinkled onto the ground, as part of a summer heat awareness campaign. It was marginally cooler on Tuesday, but temperatures remained well above normal in most of the country, and little relief is forecast. "We are observing unprecedented levels of heat in some areas," weather agency official Motoaki Takekawa said late Monday. The heatwave "is fatal, and we recognize it as a natural disaster," he told reporters. The agency warned that much of the country will continue baking in temperatures of 35 degrees or higher until early August. Officials have urged people to use air conditioning, drink sufficient water and rest often. Japan's summers are notoriously hot and humid, and hundreds of people die each year from heatstroke, particularly the elderly in the country's aging society. The heatwave follows record rainfall that devastated parts of western and central Japan with floods and landslides that killed over 220 people. And many people in the affected areas are still living in damaged homes or shelters and working outdoors on repairs, putting them at great risk. The record-breaking weather has revived concerns about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which will be held in two years time in July and August. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike this week promised that the heat would be given the same priority as measures to counter terrorism. "It's just as important because the purpose is also to protect people's lives," she told reporters, comparing Japan's summer to "living in a sauna".
Fifty-seven people died due to heat-related medical issues in Japan over the week starting July 29, the government said Tuesday, with the number of those taken to hospitals more than tripling from the previous week's 5,664 to 18,347. The weekly figure of those sent to hospitals was the second-highest since tallies began in 2008, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency. Of the 18,347 people, 729 had severe symptoms requiring more than three weeks of treatment as an inpatient, while 6,548 had less serious issues needing shorter stays. Those aged 65 and older accounted for 54.3 percent of the total. Tokyo had most people taken to hospitals at 1,857, followed by 1,342 in Aichi and 1,307 in Saitama prefectures. Deaths were reported across 24 prefectures, seven in Hokkaido in northern Japan is the highest, followed by five each in Ibaraki and Saitama. High pressure over the Japanese archipelago preserved extreme heat, said the agency, as it advised constant hydration and rests in cooler areas.
The Japanese archipelago has been suffering under extreme heat since the end of the rainy season in late July, which has led to a spike in deaths and people being taken to the hospital due to heatstroke. This is believed to be partly because bodies that were accustomed to the cool rainy season have been unable to adapt to the sudden change in temperature. A 28-year-old man dressed in a costume at the Hirakata Park amusement facility in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, died of heatstroke while rehearsing a show on the evening of July 28, four days after the end of the rainy season in the Kinki region. Temperatures in the city reached 33.2 C that day. There has been a nationwide increase in the number of people collapsing due to heatstroke. According to the Tokyo Fire Department, the number of people taken to the hospital per day in July in Tokyo, excluding Inagi and the islands, was in the single digits up to July 17. However, the figure soared to more than 100 on July 29, the day the rainy season was declared over in the Kanto and Koshin regions. The numbers have continued to grow, with 333 people being taken to the hospital on Thursday and 341 people on Friday. Fire and Disaster Management Agency statistics show that only one person died of heatstroke from July 1 to 23, but deaths have since risen rapidly, with 11 occurring in the five days from July 24. There were 5,664 people taken to the hospital in the week ending July 28, triple the previous week's figure. Of these, more than half were elderly people aged 65 or older. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), it may be because people's bodies, which did not sweat much in cooler weather, have been unable to cope with the sudden rise in temperature. A seasonal rain front lingered over Honshu from late June to mid-July. A high-pressure system in the Sea of Okhotsk also brought cold winds from the north, resulting in cloudy, cool weather across the country. The number of hours of sunshine per day in July was about 30 percent to 50 percent lower than the average year, resulting in a long, cool rainy season. However, temperatures have risen sharply since late July. Central Tokyo has seen consecutive hot days with maximum temperatures of at least 30 C since July 24. Nearly 90 percent of observation points nationwide recorded 30 C or higher on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, 236 observation points, the largest number this year, recorded at least 35 C.

According to the JMA, the intense heat has been caused by a "two-story effect" of overlapping high-pressure systems, which cause fair weather. The Pacific high-pressure system, which is at an elevation of about 6,000 meters and brings warm air in summer from the east, has combined with the Tibetan high-pressure system, which is at about 10,000 meters and comes from the Asian continent to the west. Together, the two have brought strong sunlight. High temperatures are expected to continue until September. Since the end of the rainy season, customers seeking air conditioners and fans have swarmed to outlets of BicCamera Inc., a major appliance retailer based in Tokyo. Though the peak sales period was delayed by about half a month compared to normal years due to the long rainy season, the number of air conditioners sold nationwide from July 27 to Thursday was about double that of the same period last year, according to the camera. A movement has been spreading among local governments to designate public facilities, shops and other places as "temporary rest areas" where people can get a break from the heat. Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, has designated 35 locations aimed at people such as the joggers who run around the Imperial Palace and is encouraging people to take breaks. Similar initiatives have been started by local governments in places such as Oita Prefecture and Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture. Sports venues are also taking action. Water breaks of about three minutes were taken during boys' and girls' football games in the national high school athletic meet that ended in Okinawa Prefecture on Thursday. The tournament's awards ceremony was conducted with players sitting on roofed benches on the field. For the first time this summer, the Japan High School Baseball Federation established a subsidy system to provide regional tournaments with up to Y150,000 (S$1,952) to prevent heatstroke. Funding has been used for things like purchasing fans for benches. At the National High School Baseball Championship, which will begin Tuesday, plastic bottles filled with cold water will be available at all times near team benches for players to keep cool.
At least seven people have died due to heat-related causes in Japan since Friday, including an infant who was left unattended in a parked car for hours in Toyama City, local officials and police said Saturday, like a heatwave, with temperatures climbing as high as 38 C, gripped wide areas of the country. In Ageo, north of Tokyo, a man in his 60s was found collapsed in front of his house Friday afternoon, local officials said Saturday. He is believed to have died after succumbing to the heat, they said. In Miyagi Prefecture early Saturday, a woman in her 80s was taken to the hospital, where she was confirmed dead, after a family member made an emergency call, according to responders. The hospital concluded her death was heat-related, they said. Four others, including an 83-year-old woman and a man in his 90s in Nagasaki and Tochigi prefectures, respectively, were also found dead in the extreme heat, according to local officials. The central government has said nearly a dozen people died last week due to heat-related medical issues as temperatures rose sharply following the end of the rainy season in most areas.
Weather officials are warning of heatstroke in Japan as sweltering heat continues to grip wide areas of the country. The Meteorological Agency says daytime highs will reach 35 degrees Celsius across a wide area on Friday, with 38 degrees forecast for the Kanto,Tokai, Kansai and Kyushu regions. On Thursday, temperatures of 35 degrees or higher were recorded at 184 observation points across Japan. Mino City in Gifu Prefecture had the highest temperature of 38.4 degrees. In central Tokyo, the mercury reached 35 degrees, the highest temperature for the capital this year. Officials say the extreme heat will likely continue for about one week in many areas. They are calling on people to take precautions against heatstroke, including staying hydrated and avoiding direct sunlight. The officials also say the rising temperatures may create unstable atmospheric conditions over wide areas, causing rain clouds to develop in some areas. They are warning of sudden changes of weather, such as localized thunderstorms and gusty winds.
Eleven people were killed and nearly 6,000 people were hospitalized in Japan with heat-related illnesses last week as the mercury rocketed following the end of rainy season across the majority of the country, the government said here Tuesday. The heatwave saw 5,664 people taken to hospitals, 1,199 of whom displayed severe symptoms requiring being admitted for at least three weeks of treatment, and 1,792 requiring shorter treatment for less serious symptoms. The total number, however, has spiked from the almost 2,000 people hospitalized across Japan a week earlier due to the heat. In the week to last Sunday, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said that 52.6 percent of the total people sent to hospital were seniors aged 65 and older. Aichi Prefecture saw the most people rushed to hospital with 393 cases, followed by Osaka Prefecture with 388 cases. Tokyo, meanwhile, saw 299 people rushed to hospital suffering from heat-related medical conditions. On Tuesday, temperatures continued to soar, with the agency and weather officials warning people to take preventative measures against heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses. Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, saw the mercury rise to 37.1 degrees Celsius, while Kumagaya in Tokyo's neighboring prefecture of Saitama and Kyoto saw temperatures rocket to 36.8 degrees Celsius. In the capital city of Tokyo, the daytime high was logged at 35.4 degrees Celsius, with temperatures across Japan expected to stay above 25 degrees Celsius overnight. Across wide swathes of Japan from north to south, temperatures are forecast to remain upwards of 36 degrees Celsius through Wednesday, weather officials said.