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Heat Wave Killed Record 65 People Across Japan Last Week as Over 22,000 Hospitalized


Women shield themselves from the sun with umbrellas in Tokyo on Tuesday as Japan suffers from a heat wave. | AFP-JIJI

More than 22,000 people were taken to hospitals due to the heat wave across Japan last week and 65 of them died, both record-high figures since comparable information became available in 2008, preliminary government data showed Tuesday.

The fatalities were recorded in 28 of the 47 prefectures in a seven-day period through Sunday as most of the Japanese archipelago experienced unusually high temperatures, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

On Tuesday, the mercury climbed across the nation, hitting 39.3 Celsius in Mino, Gifu Prefecture, while at least two people died in Kagawa and Kochi prefectures after showing symptoms of heatstroke.

The Meteorological Agency warned that high temperatures are expected to continue Wednesday in western Japan and elsewhere, calling for taking preventive measures against heat-related illnesses by replenishing water and salt, and staying cool indoors.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Tuesday that the government will support the installation of air conditioners in schools to make sure they will be well-prepared for heat by next summer.

According to the education ministry, nearly 60 percent of 820,000 classrooms in the country’s public elementary and junior high schools were without air conditioning as of April last year … (read more)

via The Japan Times

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