It’s Hot Out There! Japan Meteorological Agency Warns of “Disaster-Level” HeatSociety Lifestyle
The Japanese archipelago has been blanketed by a heat wave in July. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that on July 23 Kumagaya in Saitama Prefecture recorded a temperature of 41.1 degrees, setting a new record high for all of Japan—the first in five years. That same day the city of Ōme in western Tokyo set its own record high of 40.8 degrees, marking the first time in recorded history for a location within Tokyo to reach a temperature of over 40 degrees. Tajimi in Gifu Prefecture also reached a temperature of 40.7 degrees twice this month, on July 18 and 23.
According to the JMA the Pacific high-pressure system over Japan has led to extended high temperatures. The temperatures for July are among the hottest since statistics began to be kept in 1961. Average mid-July temperatures this year exceeded the annual average by 4.1 degrees in the Kantō-Kōshin area, 3.6 degrees in the Tōkai area, 3.4 degrees in the Kansai area, and 3.1 degrees in the Chūgoku area.
Most of Japan’s highest temperatures were recorded since 2000, including five set in 2018 alone.
Highest Temperatures on Record in Japan
|1||Kumagaya, Saitama||41.1||July 23, 2018|
|2||Shimanto, Kōchi||41.0||August 12, 2013|
|3||Tajimi, Gifu||40.9||August 16, 2007|
|3||Kumagaya, Saitama||40.9||August 16, 2007|
|5||Ōme, Tokyo||40.8||July 23, 2018|
|5||Yamagata, Yamagata||40.8||July 25, 1933|
|7||Tajimi, Gifu||40.7||July 23, 2018|
|7||Tajimi, Gifu||40.7||July 18, 2018|
|7||Kōfu, Yamanashi||40.7||August 10, 2013|
|10||Mino, Gifu||40.6||July 18, 2018|
|10||Kōfu, Yamanashi||40.6||August 11, 2013|
|10||Katsuragi, Wakayama||40.6||August 8, 1994|
|10||Hamamatsu, Shizuoka||40.6||August 4, 1994|
Created by Nippon.com based on materials published by Japan Meteorological Agency (shaded areas are for 2018).
In a July 23 press conference, JMA meteorologist Takekawa Motoaki, called on the public to take due caution to safeguard their health, particularly to prevent heatstroke: “This level of heat is unprecedented for almost all regions of Japan and poses a danger to life. We look on this heat wave as being a type of natural disaster.”
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ Fire and Disaster Management Agency, during the one-week period from July 16 to 22, a total of 22,647 heatstroke victims in Japan were provided emergency transportation. This is the highest number of persons to be transported by ambulance in one week since such data was first kept in 2008. The number of fatalities among those transported was also the highest on record, at 65 persons.(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: © Pixta.)