Photo: PAKUTASO
national

28-year-old man dies while sunbathing in his home garden

45 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

In terms of pure temperature, Japan’s summers aren’t all that bad. Daytime temperatures are often in the 32-34 degrees Celsius range, which is cooler than what you’ll find in many parts of the American southwest (this week’s highs in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Dallas, for example, are 42, 40, and 39 degrees Celsius, respectively).

But while the sun itself may not shine as powerfully here as it does in some other parts of the world, midsummer weather-based health risks are no joke in Japan. On Tuesday, a woman living in the city of Yatomi, Aichi Prefecture, went out for a few hours in the afternoon. At some point after she left, her 28-year-old son set up a folding chair in their garden to catch some rays and work on his tan, something he’d done numerous times before.

However, when the woman returned home at around 3:20 in the afternoon, she found her son lying comatose on the chair. She immediately called the paramedics, who realized that the son had gone into cardiac arrest and rushed him to the hospital. Sadly, though, their efforts came too late, and the son passed away some 40 minutes after his mother had found him, with doctors attributing his death to the effects of heatstroke.

The woman isn’t sure how long her son was in the garden, but weather records from the neighboring town of Aisai show temperatures of 34.2 degrees C and 32.7 at 3 p.m. on the day of the incident. Again, by themselves those numbers might not seem so intimidating, but it’s important to also account for Japan’s high humidity. The combined effects of the two dehydrating weather factors can dry out the body with deceptively dangerous speed, even for someone who’s ordinarily comfortable, or at least happy, spending time in the sun, such as the sunbather in Yatomi.

After an unusually mild July, Japan has swung fully into its harsh summer weather in a hurry. On the day of the man’s death, 68 people in Aichi Prefecture were hospitalized for heatstroke, and the national Fire and Disaster Management Agency says that in the single week from July 29 to August 4, nationwide 18,000 people required emergency medical attention for the condition, with 57 cases being fatal.

So if you’re planning to soak up some summer fun in Japan, remember to stay hydrated. Luckily, the country has no shortage of vending machines and convenience stores stocked with bottles of water and sports drinks like local favorites Pocari Sweat and Aquarius. If you’re going out in mid-day, seriously consider covering up with a hat and maybe some light, breathable long sleeves, or maybe even going totally native and carrying a sun umbrella as many Japanese do. And if you’re absolutely committed to working on your tan, let a friend or family member know when you’re starting your sun session so they can come check on you, because once you realize you’re in danger, it may be too late for you to save yourself.

Sources: NHK News Web via Jin, Nitele News 24, CBC News, Nihon Keizai Shimbun

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- It’s so hot in Japan that people are cooking food in/on their cars【Photos】

-- Hokkaido police searching for naked man in glasses who groped woman in sub-zero weather

-- Japanese idol event stockpiles free deodorant for fans to use before shaking singers’ hands

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
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Don’t drink Aquarius or Pokari Sweat. They will make you sick. Despite what they say, they are both full of processed sugar. Drink 100% orange juice and water. The glucose in orange juice will stop your brain cooking. I usually drink orange juice and soda water (no vodka) for a refreshing summer drink.. Unfortunately, many Japanese drink green tea, which is a diuretic and makes you even more dehydrated. Perhaps this is why such an astonishing amount of people end up ill or dead when temps are only in the low 30’s.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

Should have worn SPF 70.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Do the hustle: Good advice. Water is the best and take some salt tablets.

What about mugicha?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mugicha is good. Buckwheat tea doesn't have as much caffein as green tea so less diuretic. Adding salt makes even more effective to prevent heatstroke.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not sure if there's any difference but Japan tend to have very little clouds during this period thus the rays are more direct and feels a lot harsher.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It may well have been a suicide. Rather painless way to go.

Being from Florida we are taught from a young age to avoid being outside between 10 am - 2 pm in the summer. I cannot recall anyone having heatstroke there even in the summer. Tokyo is tough because sometimes there is no escape. For example when I get to my elevated platform station, I have to wait in the blazing sun on a superheated platform until whenever the train arrives and there is nowhere to hide so it is a real human oven.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Seriously?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don’t drink Aquarius or Pokari Sweat. They will make you sick. Despite what they say, they are both full of processed sugar. Drink 100% orange juice and water. The glucose in orange juice will stop your brain cooking. I usually drink orange juice and soda water (no vodka) for a refreshing summer drink.. Unfortunately, many Japanese drink green tea, which is a diuretic and makes you even more dehydrated. 

Sorry, but this is not good advice. Unless you are drinking freshly squeezed orange juice, you are most likely drinking even more processed sugar than is found in Aquarius or Pocari Sweat. Store-bought juice is heavily processed.

And green tea will not dehydrate you, though I often read this. Yes, it is diuretic, as is coffee. But the water in the tea greatly outweighs the diuretic effects. While tea is not as good as water, it is a whole lot better than drinking nothing.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I always drink plain water with a pinch of Himalayan salt; cheap and effective.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Am guessing there are some underlying health issues, and more to this story.

In terms of rehydration, there are many effective Oral Rehydration Powders available at pharmacies. Drinking water alone will not replenish sodium and other nutrients lost through sweating and dehydration and can lead to hyponatremia

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Don't sunbathe, especially when the sun is highest.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Raw Beer

I always drink plain water with a pinch of Himalayan salt; cheap and effective.

Any salt is fine. Soda water is fine. Pretty much anything other than alcohol or caffeinated drinks should be fine.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is just bad news. Be careful out there. People have died in the desert while they still had plenty of drinking water on them. It can happen quickly. Once you pass out from the heat, there's generally no waking up unless someone is there to help.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Man, Yatomi has my favorite shop in Japan and I am planning to go next week. I will remember not to sunbathe on the shop's roof.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hope he wasn't all-out sunbathing. That'd be awkward to find...a nude tanner.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Best to avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, not just heat stroke but skin cancer (nasty). As Commanteer said tea and coffee are not a problem though water is the best solution. Sports drinks do not hydrate you any better than water, and all fruit juice is full of sugar.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

These peeps who claim teas and coffee are diuretics...lol

0 ( +5 / -5 )

thepersoniamnow: "These peeps who claim teas and coffee are diuretics...lol"

Guess we'll be seeing you in the headlines, bud. They are diuretics if drunk in excess, as caffeine over a certain limit does indeed have diuretic effects. So, one bottle of tea, nope. Several, yes. More than a few coffees, definitely, as with brewed tea that is caffeinated. Learn your facts, bud.

In any case, saw an elderly woman gripping a railing at the train station near my apartment on my way home from work for lunch, and a couple of people rushed to help her before I could. When I got there, though, I saw the people loosening the dry towel around her neck, and the SEVERAL layers of clothes she was wearing. If you need to, wear stuff to cover up, but not like it's mid-winter! And stay hydrated.

And agree with above: drinks like Poccari Sweat and Aquarius, and their cheaper versions, have FAR too much sugar in them to be any benefit.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Unfortunately, many Japanese drink green tea, which is a diuretic and makes you even more dehydrated.

It doesn't. It contains a small amount of caffeine, which is a mild diuretic, and other than that, tea is close to 100% water.

You can't consider the diuretic effect in isolation, but yes, if you extracted all the water from tea, and consumed only the solid and diuretic components (essentially, a physical impossibility), it could contribute to dehydration.

Drinking a litre of tea will hydrate you, not dehydrate you. Even drinking beer will hydrate you. It's just not necessarily the best method, because there are definite disadvantages to consuming alcohol along with all that water.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

My doctor told me to drink one 500ml bottle of procari swear everyday when its hot and the rest with water, usually I like the Wilkinson Tansan carbonated water.

Japanese have been drinking green tea for hundreds of years and have one of the longest lfe spans.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I think coffee and tea do have a diuretic effect, meaning that they will hydrate you less than an equal volume of water, but I very much doubt that they will actually dehydrate you.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japanese have been drinking green tea for hundreds of years and have one of the longest lfe spans.

You can't make the supposed conclusion you are trying to make here in that someohw green tea drinking offers good health and longevity.

Don’t drink Aquarius or Pokari Sweat. They will make you sick

They don't make me sick. Perhaps you have some other medical issue.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I get really bad muscle twitching all over my body in summer in Japan. My doctor said that I lose too much potassium and calcium in my sweat, which are used in sending signals for your muscles to expand and contract. He told me to drink Pocari Sweat. He sounded like a Pocari Sweat commercial. I was already drinking tons of water per day. He told me that just the water was not giving me back these important minerals. Honestly, I didn't think it was going to work, but on the way home, I bought some and gave it a try. By golly, it only took a couple of days and now it has now completely stopped. Yeah, there's a bunch of sugar in there, too, but there is also a lot of hydration. I drink my water, too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The humidity is a key factor,even more than the heat itself.

People should stay indoor if possible during the hottest hours,or at least drink as much fresh water as possible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I get really bad muscle twitching all over my body in summer in Japan. My doctor said that I lose too much potassium and calcium in my sweat, which are used in sending signals for your muscles to expand and contract. 

Magnesium deficiency could cause this as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What about Aquarius 0 ? And other 0 stuff if there was ?

I think a bit of sparkling water in addition of normal water could be good as there is a lot more of mineral usually.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you look at the photo, you will see the man in the clouds. Top center.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sariri

Mugicha is good. Buckwheat tea doesn't have as much caffein as green tea so less diuretic. 

Why would mugicha have any caffeine at all?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I prefer Green Dakara as a hydration drink, both the original and lychee/yogurt flavors.

Aquarius and Pocari Sweat are a far second and third. Plus, I dilute them with water, if I can.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He musta had some pre-existing condition. No 28 year old is going to kick the bucket cuz the temperature was 35 degrees. There are countries that are much hotter than Japan and the people aren't keeling over.Most of the ones dying in Japan are at an age where they could go at any time and when you hear their age... ah well.

Went to the beach today Thursday. Whilst there,the temperature was about 29 or 30 degrees celsius,but when I got back to my local area station,it was 35 degrees! The sun reflecting on concrete and buildings causing rising temperatures is real.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Poor guy, I wonder what happened.

The UK recommends only 150ml of fruit juice a day. Carton juice has no fiber and many empty calories in the form of fructose, increasingly the sugar of concern. Chemically its the same as the sugar they make industrially from maize. It's not a problem for actual fruit because that is full of fiber and noone eats five oranges in a row. It is very easy to drink five oranges' worth of juice.

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/should-i-still-drink-fruit-juice

Pocari's main ingredient is "sugar" which is half glucose, the body's preferred sugar. Pocari has around 20 calories per 100ml, while orange juice will be close to 250 calories, again in the form of fructose.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mugicha for me. I stopped the sports drinks after I found out how much sugar they contain. Ditto for orange juice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Best to avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, not just heat stroke but skin cancer (nasty). As Commanteer said tea and coffee are not a problem though water is the best solution. Sports drinks do not hydrate you any better than water, and all fruit juice is full of sugar.

Milk is best for hydration. Tea with milk is very good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

garypenAug. 8  11:36 pm JST

Sariri

Mugicha is good. Buckwheat tea doesn't have as much caffein as green tea so less diuretic. 

“Why would mugicha have any caffeine at all?”

Neither mugicha, barley tea, nor sobacha, buckwheat tea, contain caffeine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sunbathing in the middle of summer in Japan. Why?? Don't you get enough sun as it is???

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let me rephrase.

Sunbathing in the middle of summer in Japan. Why?? Aren't you burning up already??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even now, I regularly see people out jogging in in the hottest part of the day!

There isn’t enough prevention here so it will be the same again next year-thousands getting heatstroke yet again...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I ran quickly a few kilometers last month in Japan when it was 32°C. I was doing it regularly.

No issue when you drink and normally healthy.

That poor dude must have had serious health issue. Conclude his death was because of heat stroke without autopsy is all but serious.

Any diuretic drinks would be bad only and only if you p.iss as much as you drink, but surely you know how to assess that if you are not senile ( I urgently ask readers here to check definition of diuretic please).

As for sports drink like pokari or aquarius, they bring you indeed minerals lost when sweating (sodium and potassium) needed to avoid muscle pain.

Sunn is good for your vitam D boost !

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Caffeine is a diuretic, but the amount of water you take in along with coffee and/or green tea well exceeds, by far, the amount of water lost from the caffeine.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

William77, “People should stay indoor if possible during the hottest hours,or at least drink as much fresh water as possible.”

That depends on the conditions. It can be better to be sitting on a bench under a gazebo or shade trees in a park or square than to stay indoors in a hot box of an apartment without good ventilation or an air conditioner. If you look at the statistics you will see many of the deaths have been in the home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's only one way to beat the heat in Japan in the summer:

Nagashima Spaland, Mie.

Yomiuri Land Water Amusement Island, Tokyo. ...

Toshimaen Hydropolis, Tokyo.

Tobu Zoo Super Pool, Saitama. ...

Rusutsu Resort Super Jumbo Pool, Hokkaido.

Spa Resort Hawaiians, Fukushima.

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, Fukuoka.

Hakone Kowakien Yunessun, Kanagawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kohakuebisuToday 12:11 am JSTPoor guy, I wonder Pocari's main ingredient is "sugar" which is half glucose, the body's preferred sugar. Pocari has around 20 calories per 100ml, while orange juice will be close to 250 calories, again in the form of fructose.

No, orange juice does not have over five times as many calories as Coke. :p

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aquarius, Pocari Sweat or that OS-1 dehydration drink work just fine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

After almost 20 years in Japan I am back in Atlanta and find the humidity far, far worse in Japan which, of course, makes the heat that much worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Disillusioned

Actually I am very fit and have great coaches and we aren’t freaking out about the green and brown teas as they are 99% water.

I’m actually not very hot at all in the summers here, probably due to conditioning myself through exercize, going to the sauna all year long, and not confusing myself with fiction (saying tea dehydrates me and I will doe for example).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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