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No. of people hospitalized for heatstroke in August 2nd highest on record

23 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday that 18,573 people were taken to hospital to be treated for heatstroke in August.

The agency said the figure, the second highest number in recorded history, was a 5.7% increase on last year, Fuji TV reported. It added that of those 18,573 people, 35 died.

The figure is second to only 2010, when 28,448 people were taken to hospital suffering from heatstroke. Agency records began in 2008.

According to the agency, the high number of casualties is believed to be due to the fact that a large area of northwestern Japan saw temperatures remain above 35 degrees throughout most of August.

The agency also reported that people over the age of 65 constituted around half of the total number, at 46.3%. That age range is thought to represent around 24% of the total population of Japan.

The figures show that the highest number of heatstroke cases occurred in Tokyo, which saw 1,422 hospitalized. The second highest was Saitama with 1,131, followed by Osaka with 1,114.

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23 Comments
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Hopefully the Japanese people learned a valuable lesson this year and maybe, just maybe, the numbers will decrease next year. Probably not, though...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe that "Cool Biz" campaign wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The daily LOW temperatures are the extraordinary thing. During August, they were regularly around 26-27 and hitting 28 in Tokyo. That made Tokyo consistently hotter than Bangkok, Singapore, etc.

Even today, in "autumn," the low is to be 25, and yet it feels cool by Tokyo summer standards.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

wasnt that hot this year

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

So many of the cases could have been prevented. It will happen again and the same stories will crop up, such as kids doing sports.

No common sense is the problem, not the blistering heat.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Inflexibility, stupidity, and Cool Biz.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You are kidding ms Alexander with that look down the nose comment.Heatstroke doesn't happen in your country..much.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In 4 months time the story will be about people dying of hypothermia.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The figures show that the highest number of heatstroke cases occurred in Tokyo

Yeah, in Tokyo where 45% of the population are aged 60 or over and it has the greatest population density and it also has the greatest 'heat island' effect from all the concrete. But, heat stroke should not be such a huge issue cos summer happens every year, so people should be aware of the dangers of dehydration and extended exposure to the sun, shouldn't they? Or, are they just plain stoopid?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I live near the Tamagawa and frequently ride my bike along the path. During August I saw so many people out jogging in the heat of the day that I could not believe it. Maybe I was loony for riding a bike, but jogging? That is insane.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bass4funk...on the other hand, perhaps CoolBiz prevented more heatstrokes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

JeffLee what are you talking about?!?

I don't know kanto, but kansai where I live in Kansai it was USually 32 or 33 at night inside my house. And no, my house was not hotter than outside. Only now is it consistently under 30 at night. It was awful.

I wish they gave the stats for other age groups. The elderly and real little toddlers you can understand hospitalization but like age 5 or 10 up to 40 or 50 there is no reason for there to be any more than a handful.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ aintgottimetobl - I am from here so heatstroke does happen in MY country - Japan. Heatstroke can be avoided by common sense.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I knew this would happen with the encouragement of "Setsuden" (Power Saving) on air conditioning. The public has been sold on it and these things were inevitable. Air conditioning actually can save lives. How many people died because the room was too cold in the summer?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

2nd highest in ... 4 years records!!! No segmentation of the cases!! Age? Sport? Hard workers? Dehydration? ... It is just impossible to make any conclusion. But definitely as other posters say: common sense would save 90% of these cases. I do not see the point of debating, mentioning setsuden, ... with so little factual informations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Lowly, yeah, I was citing weather forecast information. My bedroom has constantly been 30 degrees, although with the autumn rain it has "cooled" to 28.

NHK for the past couple of weeks has been prattling on about how autumn is here, which I find really annoying.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ms. AlexanderSep. 20, 2012 - 07:46AM JST

Hopefully the Japanese people learned a valuable lesson this year and maybe, just maybe, the numbers will decrease next year. Probably not, though...

Alex EinzSep. 20, 2012 - 08:18AM JST

wasnt that hot this year

Hopefully they will reflect on what they did this year that they didn't last year. Mainly the fact that many people ignored heat warnings and left their rooms un-cooled due to electricity use paranoia, which allowed them to either bake indoors or dehydrate before they even went outside.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

In 4 months time the story will be about people dying of hypothermia.....

Yeah I know. If scientist could only invent some type of material that could isolate the air volume inside of our houses from the cold/hot space of air outside.... You can imagine, if you like something functioning like a blanket for the house fitted in the walls and ceiling. Perhaps some other countries have tried? I wonder if that would ever work here?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

SquidBertSep. 21, 2012 - 10:48AM JST

Yeah I know. If scientist could only invent some type of material that could isolate the air volume inside of our houses from the cold/hot space of air outside.... You can imagine, if you like something functioning like a blanket for the house fitted in the walls and ceiling. Perhaps some other countries have tried? I wonder if that would ever work here?

It's called insulation (for the people who didn't fall for sarcasm), and it only works a certain amount. Things like house wrap are better suited for Japan where wind is a far bigger concern. But both are only measures for improving efficiency, not heating. Even with insulation and wrapping you still lose several kWh a day in heat for many houses, especially up north where electrical heating is most common. In fact, most places in Hokkaido have insulation, wrap, and double two pane windows, and still cost about 20kWh/sq m per month in heating.

Similarly, heat in southern areas is far worse with insulation and wrapping UNLESS you have air conditioning turned on. Just the human body produces enough heat to turn a normal temperature to disgustingly hot in hours without any added effects from the outside. Add a refrigerator, gas pilots, cellphones, chargers, computers, lights, and you have a slow roasting oven in the making without outside interference. And as people are more likely to be indoors when it's cooler outside (1-3 am), the room never gets a chance to cool, especially with high insulation.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Just couldn't leave it be could you basroil?

Well I was born close enough to the Arctic circle to know that a well insulated wood house can keep you alive in the most horrific conditions for a long time with no heating at all.

For summer time, did you ever hear about windows? Well turns out you can open them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

JeffLee, Yeah those temps aren't the real temps. I assume you know that seasons don't start when they actually start, but when the set calendar day says they start. Time to begin wearing your wool suits, because now it is autumn, for the reason that it is autumn now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

SquidBertSep. 21, 2012 - 05:27PM JST

Well I was born close enough to the Arctic circle to know that a well insulated wood house can keep you alive in the most horrific conditions for a long time with no heating at all.

And I've had enough experience with frozen pipes and warped siding to tell you it won't matter after a few days. Temperatures of 35C are enough to cause heatstroke for elderly even with open windows, and temperatures indoors of 10C are enough to kill by cold.

In fact, Hokkaido had a few cases of death by freezing in fairly well insulated houses simply because they didn't want to turn on the heat.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Alright basroil,

Thanks for teaching me that insulation is useless for both cold and hot climates. I bet many countries will update their building code on your 'expertise'

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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