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31 July


Two men died and more than 500 people were hospitalized due to high heat in Japan

Unusually hot conditions will continue throughout today

Photo: KYODO

/NOVOSTIVL/ Unseasonably hot conditions gripped wide areas of Japan on Sunday, with the town of Saroma in Hokkaido setting the highest temperature ever recorded in the country for the month of May. This article appeared in The Japan Times.

Two men — one in Shimizu, Hokkaido, and the other in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture — died and at least 575 people nationwide were taken to hospitals by ambulance suffering from symptoms that appeared to point to heatstroke, according to data compiled by Kyodo News.

The mercury hit 39.5 degrees in the northeastern coastal Hokkaido town at 2:07 p.m. Sunday — the hottest at any observation point in Japan for the month, according to the Meteorological Agency. The previous record, set on May 13, 1993, was 37.2 degrees in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture.

Temperatures had never before reached 35 C in Hokkaido in May or 38 C at any time of the year in the prefecture. The previous record high temperature recorded there was 37.8 degrees in the town of Otofuke on June 3, 2014, and in the city of Obihiro on July 12, 1924.