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One dead, 181 treated for heat exhaustion April 25-May 1

27 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Friday that 181 people nationwide were taken to hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion in the week from April 25 to May 1.

The agency said one death -- in Shimane Prefecture -- had also been attributed to the heat during the same weeklong period, Fuji TV reported. Of the 181, about a half were aged 65 or older. Six required hospitalization for severe symptoms.

By prefecture, Saitama had the highest number of people being treated for heat exhaustion, at 18, followed by Kyoto (14) and Aichi (11).

Agency officials said the sudden rise in temperature from the end of April affects a lot of people because their bodies are not yet accustomed to the warmer weather and they are still wearing winter clothes. Officials recommend light exercise such as walking, drinking plenty of water and using the air conditioner, if necessary.

Last year, more than 50,000 people were taken to hospital to be treated for heat exhaustion between May and September, according to the agency.

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27 Comments
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Please people learn! Go with common sense. If it is hot, put on summer wear, cold winter wear. The times I have been on trains when it is over 26C outside and the heating is on and many are wearing scarves, wool hats and coats. Cool biz starts in June and until then the rule of thumb is winter wear. Then in summer the OL's have company blankets and war begins to keep the AC at 28C. I change it to 23 then it goes up again to 28C.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Such insight into Japanese culture from such a terse article.

Agency officials said the sudden rise in temperature from the end of April affects a lot of people because their bodies are not yet accustomed to the warmer weather and they are still wearing winter clothes.

Why on earth are they still wearing winter clothes? Why don't people use their own judgment about the weather rather than looking at a calendar and thinking, 'Well, it's still spring so I'd better pack on the layers despite it being a balmy 30ºC outside'?

I (rather unfortunately) spent Golden Week at the in-laws in western Tokyo and I could barely breathe in their house. Guest rooms have no aircon and they'd not yet brought out the fans so a few days there were absolute torture... stifling, boiling torture.

I don't tend to submit to the idea that Japanese culture is some incomprehensible, impenetrable mystery that no foreigner could ever understand... but this one thing I will never understand. When it's hot, dress like it's hot. Behave like it's hot.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

When I get to Tokyo next week it will be on the cool side for me. I am bringing a jacket.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Um, when did it get hot enough to kill people? I believe the highest temp was in the mid to high 20's. It was beautiful weather. I spent the week camping at the beach. Either these people are very weak or just very stupid, or both!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dress for the weather not the calendar!!!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Dressing for the weather is only part of the solution, many people/elderly can no longer adjust to fast changing weather anymore, change of diet also helps.

My J-wife struggled with the South African Sun alot at Bike Rallies as her Raven black hair got hot and she needed a breaker in our tent.

We had some very early 'Summer Days: this year which many underestimated.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

savethegaijin,

No aircon, and no open windows either, I bet.

I would be curious to know the (Japanese) definition of heat exhaustion. Seems to me, this has become somewhat of a 'trendy' phrase lately, and everone and his aunt seek help for feeling 'exhausted'. Hell, a lot of people go to the clinic when their noses are running so... Maybe this is just a wee bit overblown?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Fuben

Nope no open windows. I kept one open at night (the only one in the room with a screen) but had to close it because their elderly neighbor has like 4 shiba dogs and their random shreikey barking was keeping my toddler awake. Sigh.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I feel the cold but not the heat so much, in our house we don't use aircon until the end of the rainy season. I have to say that the humidity is a bit much at times, some days you could cut it with a knife.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How about recommending removing a jacket and tie before turning on the aircon. Using an aircon at this time of year is ridiculous. JR please note.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Take off those neckties ! I was in half sleeves today, feeling great!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No aircon, and no open windows either, I bet.

The other day I had a tea party with some Japanese ladies, and unfortunately spilled some coffee on my thin cotton cardigan. The hostess insisted on washing the stain off by hand, and then hanging my cardigan out to dry on her veranda (so Japanese!). It was a 26C day, I was comfortable in my short-sleeved blouse, but everyone kept asking me if I wasn't feeling too cold, and offering me their various scarves and blankets. All I wanted was for the lady of the house to just open the window so we could feel the breeze ... but no, we can't do that, because the official season hasn't started yet.

It has never surprised me that literally thousands of people a year (in modern, hi-tech Japan) are treated for heatstroke. I know of no equivalent in any other land.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"Agency officials said the sudden rise in temperature from the end of April affects a lot of people because their bodies are not yet accustomed to the warmer weather and they are still wearing winter clothes."

Well, what do these agency officials or other people expect?!? You absolutely canNOT change your clothes from winter to summer clothes until May FIRST! How DARE the weather interfere with Japanese customs! If this keeps up, people may one day have to check the weather and gauge what to wear based on it instead of being told what day to change their clothes!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Using an aircon at this time of year is ridiculous.

Not if your room is too hot.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

gaijintraveler: "Using an aircon at this time of year is ridiculous. JR please note."

No, dying because you refuse to based on the calendar date is what's ridiculous. Or tell me, how much for a hospital bill for heatstroke vs. the air-conditioning that might have helped avoid it? I haven't used my air-conditioner this year yet, but would if I felt the need to, and that's what the officials have said -- "IF NECESSARY".

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Common sense isn't common. Sadly the lack of it will result in 100s of heat exhaustion deaths again this year...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

You have to be pretty dense walking around in the hear with layers of winter clothes on.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've come to the conclusion that, by and large, Japanese people need to be told what to do by those in charge. They often say that the government are the parents, the police are the nannies & the public are the children. Not far from the truth!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Using an aircon at this time of year is ridiculous

The policy "dresscool air with the calendar" is still very strong in this country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sure, sure. "Dress for the weather" everyone says. But let's not forget that if you do so, people will feel free to poke and comment at whether your sleeves are short or not, the color of your shoes, whether or not you have an umbrella, etc. ad nauseum. It was about two weeks ago that one of the local neighborhood professionals was making A BIG DEAL about my sleeve length, presumably because his wife had told him that he could not wear what he wanted to wear, so he was going to make sure that everyone else obeyed some archaic fashion rule.

I suppose it is a pun to say that people should just chill. If people really felt free to dress as they feel the need, we would all be a lot healthier. Unfortunately, busybodies would then have nothing to nag other people about.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Using an aircon at this time of year is ridiculous.

I used mine the other night. It was too hot in our house. I couldn't sleep.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Common sense isn't common. Sadly the lack of it will result in 100s of heat exhaustion deaths again this year...

Bingo

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You know, it is a weird time, depending on where you live. Where I am, we have hot days and cold nights this time of year. The ground is cold and the air stays warm for about an hour after sundown. On a clear night, temps will drop below 10 degreesC. On an overcast night, humidity soars, which takes heat out of the air too, even though the clouds trap some heat from the hot day. People are not paying attention to the change of seasons.

I bet the patterns confuse people. After a cold night, people will bundle up to go to work and regret it all day as they cook in a sweater and jacket. They get home and get all their clothes off and freeze all night. Or, they set their air conditioners according to yesterday's weather and get frozen out when conditions change.

And let's not ignore the elephant in the room. In most countries, this news of changing seasons would not be news, but in Japan, old people die in droves from this kind of stuff. It is going to get worse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Old people suffer.....because they refuse to use the aircon (a frog slowly boiling in a bath springs to mind) and don't drink enough fluid. Common sense really. And in any case - it's cool biz.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They were even showing on NHK news today that at 28C and high humidity there are health issues. However, the decision makers will continue to decide foolish things and many will mind their foolish rules.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Setsuden being the current excuse for not using the a/c no matter how hot, or worse, setting it for 28 at low power thus doung nothing but waste energy, plays a part too.

But seriously, what is with dressing as if for an artic expedition just for a jaunt across Tokyo.

And how many times have you heard people complaining about it being too cold while they are sweating?

If you are sweating, ya ain't cold.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many pensioners are struggling financially and disconnect the A/C to keep the electricity bill down. Some can only afford 300yen/day for food(saw a feature in TV about it).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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