Japan roasts under worst heatwave since 1875

Japan roasts under worst heatwave since 1875
Temperature of 37C recorded in Tokyo on Wednesday as 76 people hospitalised in the capital city

Japan is reeling for the fourth succesive day under an intense heatwave said to be the worst one the country has faced in 150 years with temperatures topping 35C in Tokyo for days on end.

Temperatures in the capital hit 35.1C by 1pm local time on Tuesday and a high of 37C was reported on Wednesday in the worst streak of hot weather in June since records began in 1875, reported Reuters.

Local reports cited the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) as saying that the mercury is not expected to drop below 34C in the capital until Sunday.

The agency predicted a temperature of 36C on Thursday and 35C on Friday for the capital.

High temperatures have increased pressure on the power supply and authorities are worried they might have to resort to cuts.

Japan’s government also urged people to use less electricity.

“We ask the public to reduce energy consumption during the early evening hours when the reserve ratio falls,” Yoshihiko Isozaki, deputy chief cabinet secretary, told a regular press briefing.

The government had asked people to turn off unnecessary lights for three hours from 3pm Tokyo time (7am BST) while “properly using air conditioning and hydrating during hot hours”.

With heatstroke alerts issued in some areas of the country for Tuesday, cases of hospitalisation rose, with emergency services saying 76 people from the capital were taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, Kaname Ogawa, director of electricity supply policy at the economy and industry ministry, said electricity demand on Monday was bigger than expected because the temperature was higher than Sunday’s forecast.

“We are struck by unusual heat for the season,” Mr Ogawa said. “Please cooperate and save as much power as possible.”

Japan has seen record high temperatures for June in other areas as well. In Isezaki, north of Tokyo, the temperature shot up to 40.2C on Saturday, the highest ever for June.

Japan also faces a potential shortage of fossil fuel imports as the west imposed sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.