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Heatwave kills four, sends 900 to hospital throughout Japan

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Cold beer in hand = no worries!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A heatwave?

It's like this pretty much every year.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

RIP to the 4 people and hope the rest get well soon. Still haven't used my air-con once this Year, not even plugged in.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yawn. Same every year.

This is a really hot area of the world. Get over it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The govt told half these people not use aircon. So it is possible to proportion blame on previous govt allowing nuclear reactors on fault lines while using them for over 30% of electricity generation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Asagao; what PROPER countries' people need directives from the government on how to behave on a day to day basis?

Japan is amazing (and not in a good way, demonstrably)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The govt told half these people not use aircon.

The government did not tell anyone not to use air conditioners. The government advised/asked people to set the temperature on their air conditioners to 28 degrees.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"two farmers, a security guard and a construction worker"

So in other words, people working where no air-conditioning would be available anyway (save perhaps the construction worker), which makes the whole 'energy saving is to blame' angle moot.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Those construction sites can be absolutely blistering- I used to walk past one on Yamate dori last year where the temperature gauge for where the guys worked on the tunnel underground usually showed 40+ deg at 9am. I'm surprised more don't die.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@TimeiClic

Yawn. Same every year.

This is a really hot area of the world. Get over it.

They report this the same way they report how many people kill themselves every year, how many people freeze to death every winter, how many new drink flavors they come up with, etc.

I have to agree with you, same old same old~ YAWN indeed~

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@cleo

The government did not tell anyone not to use air conditioners. The government advised/asked people to set the temperature on their air conditioners to 28 degrees.

Absolutely correct. Let's try to stick the facts, please. (Note that I do not follow this "advise" and got my AC running at 25 degrees during the daytime and 26 degrees at night.)

Thank You Cleo (^_^)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The other day I saw some construction workers building some preliminary structure made of steel pipes. They were wearing long pants (the kind that make them look like pirates), long sleeves,gloves, and hats with towels in back. The only thing I could think of was that I hoped those dudes took breaks every twenty minutes and drank plenty of water.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My ac is currently set at 21C. I don't think i could work at the rate i do with it any higher. Massive Kepco bills, but i would lose more by not being able to work efficiently if i didn't keep it low.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unfortunately, not everyone survives extreme hot weather conditions such these, may you all rest in peace. Moreover, lets show some sensitivity & respect, even when these sort of news are displayed year in & out, both to the writers & deceased.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Very hot indeed and i don't even have an aircon. I would put it on too if I were BlueWitch. Looking forward to the yearly Tomei Express traffic jams, the only news that isn't yawn.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Its very sad to read about the deaths of people due to heat stroke. Much of the problem lies with the behaviour people going on with regular activities and pretending to be seen to be busy.Its seems very difficult for Japanese to kick back and relax unless they are hidden from view.They seem to sheepishly rush around, take holidays when told to and carry as normal during heat waves. Surely a siesta style life would suit them more in the summer heat. Why not change lifestyles?They could have easily introduced daylight saving and made use of natural light in the morning.How about starting work at 6am and finishing at 12.Keep out of the heat until late afternoon and then go back to work. Staggered holidays and time off would also allow for a more flexible approach in avoiding the hotter times of year.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It used to be a 'scorcher' when it went above 30c. 35, 38C is not normal here, but becoming more frequent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BlueWitch almost died from heatstroke. Too Bad. yeah its getting really hot lately.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Foxie

Very hot indeed and i don't even have an aircon. I would put it on too if I were BlueWitch. Looking forward to the yearly Tomei Express traffic jams, the only news that isn't yawn.

LOL!! I do INDEED keep my AC on at 25/daytime and 26/night time... I apologize for the misunderstanding. My English grammar sucks!!!

@T_rexmaxytime

BlueWitch almost died from heatstroke. Too Bad. yeah its getting really hot lately.

No, I didn't die from a heatstroke, I keep my AC ON!! I'm alive as I'm typing this....LOL!! Besides, I'm already 10 months and there's no way I can "gaman" in this kind of heat, since I'm a 24 hour walking OVEN with this little bun still baking inside.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People just need to keep themselves hydrated(alcohol dehydrates actually) as well as keep their salt/sodium intake up. Sugary drinks are bad too.

I usually keep a Bottle 500ml of home-made mugi-cha with me when I venture outside(pay 200Yen for 54/1ltre tea-bags). Bottle fits in a hip-pouch designed for cyclists also holds an Ipod and a small money-pouch.

Correct clothing also helps a lot. Construction workers need sturdy clothing to prevent injuries, etc. Wear a hat or a baseball cap, those cool neck-wraps also help.

While indoors strip down(wear a Jinbei) and let a fan cool your body and dry/remove the sweat. DON'T wipe it off you leave salt, etc behind that clogs the skin and helps overheat you.

For sleeping get a bamboo mat and pillow and only use a towel-ket to cover yourself. Heck, even in Greece the blankets were bed sheets.

Keep a cool bath ready for the occasional dip and each time wipe the body down with a sponge(no need to wash each time). Using cool additives and soaps also help.

I don't use the air-con now, but hung Sudare all around the apartment and all windows are open for a draft. On average temps inside are 3-5 degrees Celsius lower than outside. Fans keep the air moving and provide a nice draft.

What truly kills you is quick temperature changes from an air-conditioned area to a non-one like a store, train, Office, etc. Your body will increase sweating once inside a cooler area but it takes energy for it to adjust from hot to cold and vice-versa. So try to keep the drastic temp changes to a minimum.

Your body will adjust but it takes a few days.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I officiate football (American) games from August to December and we learn quickly that not hydrating BEFORE you go outside is just as bad as not hydrating once you DO go outside. If you have any planned activities during hot days that will have you outside for an extended period of time, you should (ideally) start hydrating 10 - 12 hours prior to the activity. There's a visual indicator of your hydration level that can give you a quick confirmation if you're well-hydrated: If the color of your urine is anywhere from (clear) to the color of lemonade, you're doing a good job. If it's dark like the color of apple juice, you aren't hydrating enough for the activities you're performing.

Hydrate with water, sodium, and potassium to reduce the possibility of cramps. Gatorade seems to work the best for me, but there are other formulations out there that may be better for you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rule #1 in summer, if hot and thirsty then cool off and drink water.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Obon... when many take their summer holiday"

It must be nice to get a summer holiday.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm reading this in Singapore, where the temperature is always like Japanese august. But as I walk around, I'm almost never in the sun. There are trees and canopies everywhere and from the air, it looks like a jungle with skyscrapers. Japanese have few trees, and the ones the do have are savagely pruned. People don't plant big trees in their gardens, just skimpy little trees that don't cover the road or houses with shade. No wonder the cement is so hot! Plant green stuff and the temperature goes down. Lucky Singaporeans to have the British set up such a nice shady and green city. Japanese urban planners could learn a lot.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My ac is currently set at 21C

steve,

either your thermostat is shot, the a/c is way too weak for the room its used in or................ have you ever cleaned the unit??

21C is rediculous under anything close to normal conditions & this is from a guy who was born up north with the polar bears so summer is the most difficult for yrs truly but I am easily fine with 28C, although I admit to dropping it down one or 2degrees when I can in for a 15min or so then it goes back up!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All you need is one of those fuurin/wind chimes and you will feel cooler than if you were at Steve's place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My AC is always set at 21c and will stay that way. Sadly, the number of deaths from heat stroke is pretty consistant from year to year. Last year there were 9 deaths attributed to heat stroke, so blaming TEPCO and their power advisory is wrong. People are just stupid in the heat. And, 35c is not hot! People are just stupid in the heat

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I feel best at 21C and that is with AC on full power in day time. At night 23 C is ok. I am just not suited to the heat, In 2010 went to Osaka in August, walked around a bit and starting hallucinating , went into a lawsons and still sweated for about 30 mins after. Just can't take it, but live here so no choice.

35C is bloody hot, i couldn't function at that temperature let alone work.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Four down...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

35C is way too hot for me, I'm expecting, remember? I'm already overheated 24 hours a day. Reason why I have to leave my AC on most of the day, but at 25 degrees during daytime and 26 degrees at night. If I go any higher than that, I'd probably melt all over the floor. 28 is impossible for me. no way~ lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Solve of problem: migration to Hokkaido. On Hokkaido low cost fresh air also may be geothermal termoenergy for houses. As result more energy effective economic and live of people.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

BlueWitchAug. 13, 2011 - 03:09AM JST. Reason why I have to leave my AC on most of the day, but at 25 degrees during daytime and 26 degrees at night.

When you put the AC on, if you install a heavier, more insulated curtains (attached close to the window) on main room that you stay the most, like living room kitchen area, this will keep the room much cooler than excaping. Also, if you don't like darkness, you can put wider aluminum mini-blinds. Blinds it will deflect the direct and indirect sunlight and also give you more insulation.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We escaped to London where it is only 14C. The strong yen makes us feel like cool millionaires in this expensive city. Back on 25th and I hope it cools down by then.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Work crews in my Tokyo neighborhood have spent the summer destroying the tiny amounts of existing greenery, making the heat even worse, the morons.

Tree branches are constantly being cut off and hedges shaved down to a few centimeters high. Massive construction projects, meanwhile, are in full swing, pouring more and more concrete.

Now the only shade we get is from the buildings, and so we basically don't go outside unless necessary.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Work crews in my Tokyo neighborhood have spent the summer destroying the tiny amounts of existing greenery, making the heat even worse

I agree! Pruning trees in Summer?

They provide shade, and absorb a lot of the heat.

In my neighborhood, they pruned a house, and all its surrounding greenery... Stark, shadeless empty lot, now!

On the plus side, the construction workers were excellent eye candy!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@sfjp330

BlueWitch

When you put the AC on, if you install a heavier, more insulated curtains (attached close to the window) on main room that you stay the most, like living room kitchen area, this will keep the room much cooler than excaping. Also, if you don't like darkness, you can put wider aluminum mini-blinds. Blinds it will deflect the direct and indirect sunlight and also give you more insulation.

I have done both, I'm using insulated curtains (double layer, navy color) and I have all the house windows covered by 「すだれ」sudare, and keep the them open since 6am until 7pm. Still I feel hot, my bedroom and the living room are tatami, therefore, it feels so icky .. =( I tried using the "DRY" mode but it just doesn't work for me. Unfortunately, my body is warmer than the average person at this moment.. but not for long now, hopefully~ ^_^

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

two farmers, a security guard and a construction worker were died, those are the people who work out side, specially the security guards, they make them were suitlike thick uniforms and they constantly stand under the sun for 8 hours. and if you noticed most of the security guys over 60 years old (like they can really secure something) I am not suprised that they collepsed, 1- they should choose younger security personal that they can actually function. 2- they should have lighter clothes for summer. 3- they should have 10 minutes brake every 2 hours or so

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

...- they should have lighter clothes for summer

They should learn a lesson from the colonial British and French of years past. Short trousers, short sleeves, light khakis and pith helmets. The helmets are a brilliant design - they keep sun off the head while creating air circulation around the head due to the space between it and the helmet's shell . The Vietnamese, a pragmatic people, still wear 'em.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Tree branches are constantly being cut off and hedges shaved down to a few centimeters high.

Their growth has to be restricted in the concrete city, since the roots cause irreparable damage if they are allowed to grow freely. Also the trees are magnets for cicada who are so loud that they can be classed as noise pollution. So maybe city hall should also target the guys who drive those damn recycle trucks, perhaps chopping off their wieners with pruning sheers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Bluewitch.

Shouldn't be much longer for you. Hang in there.

I am surprised how few people uses Sudare in my neighbourhood, they do help lower the temp a few degrees also noticed fewer bugs(mosquito, etc since we put ours up on the outside of course).

Seen a few green curtains(Goya) but we were to late to plant one but mostly done on houses and few apartments.

As for clothing? What is wrong with hongkong, singapore, etc and even traditional japanese clothing that been used for centuries. Didn't just get this hot yesterday now did it? ;)

We use Jin-bei indoors and they are also fine for a quick shopping trip, etc. You can get a decent Jin-Bei from around 1.800Yen upwards, full Yukata set with Geta will set you back around 8.000Yen.

No-one pats an eye-lid at me for wearing a Jin-Bei, actually most of the older guys are more like(wish I wore that).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I used to walk past one on Yamate dori last year where the temperature gauge for where the guys worked on the tunnel underground usually showed 40+ deg at 9am. I'm surprised more don't die.

The temperature underground should actually be cooler. And by the very nature of their work, construction workers tend to be pretty healthy. I don't think I've ever seen a Japanese construction worker who was visibly out of shape.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@It"S ME

As for clothing? What is wrong with hongkong, singapore, etc and even traditional japanese clothing that been used for centuries. Didn't just get this hot yesterday now did it? ;)

We use Jin-bei indoors and they are also fine for a quick shopping trip, etc. You can get a decent Jin-Bei from around 1.800Yen upwards, full Yukata set with Geta will set you back around 8.000Yen.

No-one pats an eye-lid at me for wearing a Jin-Bei, actually most of the older guys are more like(wish I wore that).

I completely agree with you, I do wear traditional clothes at home and around the neighborhood, since I take tea ceremony lessons, I own quite a kimono/yukata collection for many years now. Have plenty of zouri/geta as well. I use this cotton indigo sleeping yukata at night, but wear hemp(asa) yukata at daytime when possible, clothes made of 「麻」Hemp are very cool and comfortable during the summer and early autumn, it can be a little expensive though. Husband also wears his cotton Jinbei inside the house. The thing is that he doesn't have much patience and can be quite cranky when he feels hot. The real reason why the AC is almost always ON is because of him, lol. I can leave it at 25C and that's ok for me and the children, but then he takes the control and switch it back to 18C!!!! but the again I'm from Ishigakijima, Okinawa, so my heat tolerance is higher. He's from "hillbilly" Inashiki, Ibaraki...haha

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@IT`s Me: good advice. I particularly find in summer here I have a constant stuffy nose and my body feels heavy and I am certain it is caused by ducking in and out of aircon all day.

Being a dumb-ass here: can someone tell me what a sudare is??! I`ve never heard the word before, which is embarrassing after 9 years in Japan (anniversary next week!)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@BlueWitch: ganbatte girl! Nearly there! I think if anyone has the perfect excuse to flip the proverbial finger at TEPCO and the governments request right now it is you!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Miamum.

Sudare is a reed-blind that is hung outside to cut the glare, etc. There are also bamboo blinds but those are more pricey. Those blinds are dead cheap a few hundred yen for a medium to large one. You can find them now at most stores.

Sorry, only using one log-in, having more than one is against the rules here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Miamum

can someone tell me what a sudare is??!

It's not a dumb question at all!! lol Thank you for asking by the way...the true intellectual is the one that dares to asks in order to keep learning. ^_^

Sudare 「すだれ」 is a straw-made(bamboo) curtain that's place on the outside of the windows or glass「襖」 fusuma (sliding-doors). Generally, it's attached on the outside frame, but I have seen a few people attaching them on the indoor frame inside the house, LOL I keep mine attached outside the house. Less hassle, of course.

Sudare is good to keep the inside of the house cooler and restrict sunlight. But it will work better if you keep the windows and sliding doors open, with the net-screen in place. The airflow will increase noticeably. Also, the room temperature may even decrease a few grades. and here's a link about Sudare, just in case. (^_~)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudare

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Forgot the pic: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QDA2YuHbzEA/TdV-n7pbe3I/AAAAAAAABWI/RSuTr0OlGT8/s1600/t-sudare-4544b%5B1%5D.jpg

Gives the rooms a nice and relaxing atmosphere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@BlueWitch: ganbatte girl! Nearly there! I think if anyone has the perfect excuse to flip the proverbial finger at TEPCO and the governments request right now it is you!

You bet, all this corrupted government and TEPCO Scum can rot in hell. Now we are in the peak of a very hot summer, and they still telling the people to keep their AC at 28C? I don't think they do that in their expensive homes. I'm pretty sure most of them have their AC's at no higher than 21C running 24/7. Being filthy rich, corrupted and deceitful is the trademark of these government bureaucrats after all. YUCKKK -_-

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"Their growth has to be restricted in the concrete city, since the roots cause irreparable damage if they are allowed to grow freely"

That makes no sense. The world's best developed cities, like Singapore and Vancouver, have massive trees along their boulevards with long branches without "irreparable damage." How does the cutting off of branches and leaves affect the underground roots, not to mention shaving down the hedges?!?!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLee.

Do they still run as many over-head power lines as Tokyo does? Trees and overhead power-lines don't go well together in case of a major quake and they can also be a fire-hazard. Granted many areas been moving them below ground for years now.

Don't get me wrong I love trees and want to see more, but there is more to consider than just the desire for more trees/shade. Trees also grow out of sidewalks and not the streets, add in to that many trees in tokyo are already sick.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Their growth has to be restricted in the concrete city, since the roots cause irreparable damage if they are allowed to grow freely"

The above statement lacks credibility. Whoever came up with this nonsense have ZERO commonsense and downright primitive ideology. Cutting down, trimming, shaving tree branches DO NOT control the root growth. period.

Welcome to the Stone-Age once again~ -_-;

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@BlueWitchAug. 13, 2011 - 03:33PM JST

You bet, all this corrupted government and TEPCO Scum can rot in hell. Now we are in the peak of a very hot summer, and they still telling the people to keep their AC at 28C? I don't think they do that in their expensive homes. I'm pretty sure most of them have their AC's at no higher than 21C running 24/7. Being filthy rich, corrupted and deceitful is the trademark of these government bureaucrats after all. YUCKKK -_-

Historically solve of problems economy energy from Japan government is very strange. For example, for economy energy japan would less work, less use electricity transport, migration to Hokkaido. Because that real solve problems of economy energy, but without of normal temperature humans can not normal live and work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ah, ok, thanks all for the sudare info - I will go and check them out.

@Its Me - ok, I believe you! Its just Zenny was also talking about sending his son to Nagoya for the summer holidays recently.

I was "Miamum" but something went wrong when I signed in through facebook, and now I can`t get the ID back. I asked support to fix it but got no response - so I guess it is the real me from now on! Funnily enough I am far more inclined to be polite and careful what I post using my real name - so I guess this is a good thing for all ;) !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@BessonovYan

Historically solve of problems economy energy from Japan government is very strange. For example, for economy energy japan would less work, less use electricity transport, migration to Hokkaido. Because that real solve problems of economy energy, but without of normal temperature humans can not normal live and work.

I would be more than happy to move to Hokkaido if it was up to me, Hokkaido is indeed a beautiful territory filled with amazing nature, wild life and a cool weather (don't forget the freezing winters too, lol). Unfortunately though, my husband's factory is 20 minutes from our home here in Ibaraki and that would set us back for long time, since there is no other branch located anywhere else. He's been working with them for over 17 years now, since he was 22. I just don't have the heart to ask him to quit. He seems so happy to be working there, you know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@BlueWitch - yay! Finally, someone has recognised my inner genius! Now if someone could attest to my inner Goddess too, this will be a very satisfying day!!! I am out tonight with the girls - maybe it will happen then??!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Exactly. All readers, please take note.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Trees and overhead power-lines don't go well together in case of a major quake and they can also be a fire-hazard.

Well, OK, but do you know of documented cases of boulevard greenery triggering fires or other forms of devastation?

Your comment did prompt me to check out my old Vancouver neighborhood on Street View. Yep, plenty of tall, big street-side trees and also plenty of overhead power cables, and Vancouver is prone to quakes.

I wonder if the "trees are dangerous" attitude is just another Japanese urban myth.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@BlueWitchAug. 13, 2011 - 05:15PM JST

May be Hokkaido can be interest place for young families. Also for others Hokkaido may be can good place for holiday, weekend without thermal choke. If i right understand her, you can not get cold air, but you can produce oxygen by Sun. For example, you can raising flowers and climber on windows at home. I suppose that climber may be can be defense hot part of Japan from Sun and get oxygen. May be it good for office and home. Also wall from climber on the streets may be can be defense houses, pavement, road from thermo energy of light Sun. Also i suppose that traditional Japanese clothes more conform to climate of Japan than classic west clothes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It doesn't even get that hot! In some other countries it gets +45 and no one dies. Japanese people need to exercise some commonsense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok, I have been doing the figures for a few weeks now.

Since I added the Sudare outside and they do need a gap like a green curtain, we haven't exceeded temps of 30 celcius inside during the day and that is sans any other form of cooling besides a small fan for moi sitting besides a hot PC/Printer.

Now I could run the air-con for 28Celsius which is a mere 2 degrees lower. A Green curtain might bring the inside temp to 28 degrees or possible a tad lower.

Granted this is in an old japanese style apartment, concrete buildings are different where the concrete stores the heat and gives it off during the night(hence the increase of heat-stroke victims at night). Been reported often on TV.

As was said the killer in japan are not the temps but the humidity, like others I have lived in countries that had higher temps but those were dry heats.

As for sports and the heat, the USA has just released new guidelines that say there is nothing wrong with exercising in heat as long as some certain precautions are taken. They also have many deaths in amateur leagues, etc.

Also they found kids are NOT more likely to be affected by heat than adults, etc.

Best of luck to all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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