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Deaths from heatstroke quadruple to 96 people in July in Tokyo

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Government needs to REMOVE the 10% Tepco "surcharge" everyone is paying for power so people can use their aircon's

17 ( +17 / -0 )

there has been a 'heat wave' every summer for as many years as I can remember.

No there hasn't. There is a difference between 'summer is hot' (of course) and a 'heat wave' (a period of abnormally high temperatures.) The high temperatures that occur every summer are not abnormal, and therefore not a heat wave. That's just summer.

Every summer there is at least one week with temps in the high 30's

I keep a record of daily temperatures as a part of my veggie-growing activities. In 2014, the highest July temperature was 35, on one day; the rest of the month was high twenties/low thirties. In August there were three days of 36 degrees, otherwise mostly low thirties, a few high twenties.

In July 2015 there was again one day with 36 degrees, otherwise low thirties and even a week of mid-twenties at the beginning of the month. August had a couple of 37s, otherwise low thirties tapering off to mid- and low-twenties at the end of the month.

July 2016 was mainly mid- to high twenties, with only 7 scattered days in the very low thirties. August was hot, with many days in the mid to high thirties.

Last year the summer weather was so goddawful I gave up after recording low thirties and cloud, cloud, cloud throughout the first half of July. August was no better and the veggies were a disaster.

This year the thirties started coming in June, and in July there was a run of 22 straight days of high thirties. That is not normal. That is abnormal. That is a heat wave.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

But hey, it's a "mild climate with Sunny days perfect for athlètes", right Abe?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

With the billions being spent for the useless event that is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it seems to me that the government should have the resources to do something very simple:

For those that are 60+ and that meet certain income / asset criteria:

an allowance to buy and install 1 A/C unit.

an electric bill allowance for the summer months to cover the additional electric charges.

Surely this couldn't cost that much!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

zones2surf - nice idea though it would be much simpler to remove TEPCO's surcharge (as gogogo said) and ensure that electricity is more affordable throughout Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The last two summers have been relatively cool, and 2015 wasn't a killer either, though the humidity dragged on through September. 2013 was nasty. So was 2004.

I was looking up weather data last week going back to 1960 in connection with the Olympics opening and marathon days, and one of the biggest noticeable changes is that it doesn't cool off at night anymore. August 9, 1960, was 33.2 degrees but the low was around 22. Past 2000 especially, what you really notice is that the nights don't go down below 25 and often are higher.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It is also good to know that the ones who can’t take the heat ultimately are the elderly. Many many public schools in Japan have no AC

Maybe yes maybe no. That may be a false equivalence if the elderly rarely seek the appropriate shelter or don't have aircon access compared to other age groups. If everyone did the same thing the death toll might be equivalent.

It's all about heat stroke, the accumulative increase in heat without relief. Adults tend to handle it better than children, the rest likely is circumstance

5 ( +6 / -1 )

These numbers are way off, they will find numerous mummies on futons alone in the next year. As usual, neighbors don't interact, relatives don't visit. It's way to hot in an appartment that's not insulated has no AC or the occupants don't want to use it, more likely can't afford it, LDP are really doing a number on the elderly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

August is the hottest month in Tokyo. To have the Olympics in the hottest weeks of the hottest month is terribly wrong idea, and very unfair and unjust to Japanese people who paid the money for the game.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

China also has the same heat, but the govt compensate people with money. Maybe Japan should be called people's republic.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Scorchio.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It seems to get hotter every year from this year. a little worried about home air conditioner in the future. Japanese air con is good working and reasonable cost between temperature -5° and +42° of outside air. It is said that higher than +45° does not cool room any more. So this kind of air con can't be used in very hot desert.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Mike James

It is climate change. Temperature is no doubt going to be higher than 45-50 all over the world someday. More people would die. I know you know it. My point is I would have to buy more expensive good air conditioner to survive, and have to pay more money for electricity. If people can't afford, they would die.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

kwatt's point about aircons is true. They are heat pumps and they work best when there is little difference in the air to be heated or cooled and the outside. Large differences cause a big hit to the COP (coefficient of performance), the value showing how efficient (cheap to run) the air con is. If you fit a standard aircon in a cold part of Japan, e.g. Hokkaido, it will struggle to put out any heat at all when it is sub-zero outside. You need a special "kanrei-chi" (cold zone) air con which will work, but at much lower efficiency than a standard one in a milder climate. Eco-cute water heaters are also heatpumps and the same applies to them. I'm sure it will be the same at the hotter end, i.e., an air con will have to work much harder to dump heat from a 28C room into 40C+ air outside.

In terms of average temp, July 2018 in Tokyo was third highest on record. For deaths, I suspect how high the daily low is, i.e,. how hot is stays at night, will be a big factor. It also sounds like this heatwave affected other parts of Japan more than Tokyo. More records were set there than in the capital.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And it is sunny and hot again today. Where are the thunderstorms?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump would report this as 96 people die due to Chinese hoax. No doubt 2018 will finish as the hottest ever in Japan, just like 2017 was and 2016 before that.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japanese air con is good working and reasonable cost between temperature -5° and +42° of outside air. It is said that higher than +45° does not cool room any more.

In that case, either your air con is underpowered for the size room it is cooling, or the room is poorly insulated against outside heat.

Closing the shutters and/or drawing the curtains during the day will help reduce the temperatures in the room.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Obviously, for Abe, Japanese is not first.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is also good to know that the ones who can’t take the heat ultimately are the elderly. 

In what way is that good? To reduce the number of useless mouths to feed?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

the Tokyo region has had many days in the high 30's every summer for years

It takes a bit of clicking, but have a look:

https://weather.goo.ne.jp/past/662/20170700/

2017 July: 1 day with 35 degrees, 24 days low thirties.

August: 1 day with 37.1 degrees, 18 days low thirties.

2016 July: 2 days over 35 degrees, 13 days low thirties.

August: 1 day with 37.7 degrees, 25 days low thirties.

2015 July: 3 days 35 degrees or just over, 16 days low thirties.

August: 8 days, 7 of them consecutive, of high thirties, bit of a heat wave. 12 days low thirties, a week of mid to low twenties at the end of the month.

2014 July: 1 day with 35.6 degrees, 17 days low thirties.

August: 4 days 35~36 degrees, 17 days low thirties.

2013 July: 6 days, 4 of them consecutive, of 35 point something degrees, 13 days low thirties.

August: 5 days of high thirties (

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Got it, looks like the JT symbol monster doesn't like the more than/less than signs. Try again, just the last half:

August: 5 days of high thirties (~38.3), 23 days of low thirties. a pretty hot month.

So in the past five years, an average of 6 or 7 days in the high thirties per summer, most of them around 35~36 degrees. Is three or four days a month 'many days'? if it is, then.....

2018 July: 5 days over 35 degrees, including 1 day with 39 degrees, 21 days low thirties with an 11 day stretch of temperatures 34 point something and above. Double the average for the month of July strikes me as being rather significant. And very hot.

that still does not explain why so many people die during excessive heat.

They die because they're not used to it and they don't know how to cope. What gets you through 3 or 4 days of low to mid-thirties temperatures does not serve you well when the temperature is in the mid to high thirties for extended periods.

Myths and bad information also abound; I have a number of friends who, despite all the warnings on the telly, tell me they use the air conditioner sparingly during the day and not at all at night 'because it's not good for you'. Ambient temperatures higher than body temperature aren't good for you, either.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Its incredible that just a few degrees higher temperatures and a longer duration of the heat wave can result in so many more deaths.

It is also good to know that the ones who can’t take the heat ultimately are the elderly. Many many public schools in Japan have no AC.

Some basic info like not wearing dark colors and not wearing tight layers isn’t general knowledge here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Bungle

I'm not sure if you are living in Japan and using Japanese air con. If you are using it, look at the manual of it. The air con can't be used for higher temperature because of the heat pump system for now.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That sure looks like fun (about the photo). It reminds of running around the sprinklers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zones2surf - Showa-era senior citizens in Japan

Do you know of any other types of senior citizens in Japan?!

Fair point about them pocketing the money, but with poverty in Japan stretching across all age groups, I'd also like to see more affordable electricity for all with policies to offset the incerase in CO2 that this may cause and incentives for solar panel installation. In my dreams!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the UK pensioners receive a winter fuel allowance to help pay heating bills, which has cut deaths from hypothermia. You also get extra payments if the temperature falls lower than average over three days. Maybe the Japanese government can do the same thing for pensioners in the summer, enabling many not to worry about using their aircon when it's really hot.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't remember Tokyo ever having this many days in the mid to high 30's. This year's heat finally convinced me to buy some thermal sheets for the windows. I have double pane windows(pair glass) at that. Our skylight is like a burning heat lamp. Luckily we spec'd big eves for most of the south side. Just 4 windows on the east and west that need thermal sheets plus the skylight. They are kind of spendy and a pain to put on, but supposedly they last 3 years and make a huge difference. You can instantly feel the difference.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The last few years have seen record high temperatures and droughts on all continents except Antarctica. Overall, the planet is getting hotter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It is also good to know that the ones who can’t take the heat ultimately are the elderly.

Not for the elderly, it isn't. I'll be sure and pass on your regards, mind.

RIP to all the victims of this heatwave and the many, many others who have died because of the effects of climate change.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You’ve got to hand it to the Chinese; this global warming hoax is brilliant.

Took a genius to see through it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are comments being rationed by length these days? Only part of what I copy-pasted showed in the post...

the Tokyo region has had many days in the high 30's every summer for years

It takes a bit of clicking, but have a look:

https://weather.goo.ne.jp/past/662/20170700/

2017 July: 1 day with 35 degrees, 24 days low thirties.

August: 1 day with 37.1 degrees, 18 days low thirties.

2016 July: 2 days over 35 degrees, 13 days low thirties.

August: 1 day with 37.7 degrees, 25 days low thirties.

2015 July: 3 days 35 degrees or just over, 16 days low thirties.

August: 8 days, 7 of them consecutive, of high thirties, bit of a heat wave. 12 days low thirties, a week of mid to low twenties at the end of the month.

2014 July: 1 day with 35.6 degrees, 17 days low thirties.

August: 4 days 35~36 degrees, 17 days low thirties.

2013 July: 6 days, 4 of them consecutive, of 35 point something degrees, 13 days low thirties.

August: 5 days of high thirties (

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everyone please be careful. High heat can and will kill anyone not paying attention.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

High temperatures plus high humidity lead to higher death rates.

The human body needs to sweat in order to dissipate heat.

If not body temperature will rise and when it is above 40C (105F) brain and cardiovascular functions will change for the worse with danger of death if the body temperature is not reduced to normal levels.

A study just concluded by MIT predicts that the North China Plain - the most populous region on Earth and former cradle of humanity - may eventually become uninhabitable in the future due to sustained heatwaves. With humans only able to survive the conditions for 6 hours, even in the shade.

As for those who think the old are "useless mouths to feed" it is not the current generation of old people who are the problem. They mostly lived fairly modest, even frugal, lives and continue to do so.

Those who have consumed at higher levels in the world in recent times, and will do so in the future, are the drivers of the destruction and death of the planet they infest. (Time to rehash Soylent Green, anybody?)

What is the world coming to?

No sweat... a hot and sticky dead end!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@cucashopboy,

zones2surf - nice idea though it would be much simpler to remove TEPCO's surcharge (as gogogo said) and ensure that electricity is more affordable throughout Japan.

I don't mind that idea either....

But....

What I am thinking about is money constrained senior citizens...

Who, if you know any Showa-era senior citizens in Japan, can be notoriously frugal.

And would just pocket the savings rather than actually invest in an A/C unit that could save their lives.

They need to be incentivized to actually get an A/C unit installed in order to get the money!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lack of greenery means a lack of shade which could go a long way to reducing temperatures.

Tokyo is full of concrete and tarmac so literally becomes ‘hell’ in the summer.

Maybe,when enough people die things will change.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

However, that still does not explain why so many people die during excessive heat.

.....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, July was hot this year, but there has been a 'heat wave' every summer for as many years as I can remember. Every summer there is at least one week with temps in the high 30's. This summer was only different by one day that topped 40'+. I can only conclude that, people are getting careless and carefree about the dangers of high temps and are not taking adequate precautions to prevent heat stress. Understandably, the majority of deaths were elderly people, but these people have survived many hot summers and should know how to take necessary precautions. In this day and age of a 'modern' society record temperatures should not equal record deaths.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@kwatt: You said "It seems to get hotter every year from this year. a little worried about home air conditioner in the future. Japanese air con is good working and reasonable cost between temperature -5° and +42° of outside air. It is said that higher than +45° does not cool room any more. So this kind of air con can't be used in very hot desert."

There are natural variations in the earth's temperature and it "seems" is hardly a reason to worry. I can remember more than a few relatively cool summers in the last 10 years. No trend when we consider the millions of yearly datapoints.

BTW: Where has it been 45 in Japan? Last time I checked Japan is not a "very hot desert." What is your point?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@Cleo - This year the thirties started coming in June, and in July there was a run of 22 straight days of high thirties. That is not normal. That is abnormal. That is a heat wave.

I'm not sure where you are based, but the Tokyo region has had many days in the high 30's every summer for years. However, that still does not explain why so many people die during excessive heat.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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