Quantcast

More Than 70,000 People Hospitalized Amid Record-Breaking Heat in Japan

Climate
A woman holds an umbrella as she walks along a street in Tokyo on July 23, as Japan suffers from a heatwave. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

An ongoing heatwave has sent a record 71,266 people to hospitals across Japan between April 30 and Aug. 5 with 138 people dying from heat-related illnesses, The Japan Times reported, citing the nation's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

The busy capital of Tokyo saw the highest number of people taken to hospitals, at 5,994. Osaka followed with 5,272. About 40 percent of the total tally consists of elderly people.


The number of people hospitalized in just the past three months far exceeds the previous record of 58,729 recorded from June 1 to Sept. 30 in 2013.

Last month, the city of Kumagaya in the Saitama prefecture reached 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 degrees Fahrenheit), an all-time high for the country, prompting the national meteorological agency to declare the extreme heat a "natural disaster."

What's more, the heat is expected to continue. The Disaster Management Agency has urged the public to take caution and to drink enough water and use air conditioners.

Meanwhile, the scorching conditions has government officials considering whether to introduce daylight saving time for the Olympic Games in 2020, which will be hosted in Tokyo.

Yoshiro Mori, the head of the organizing committee for the summer games, said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered officials from his Liberal Democratic party to gather public opinion on whether clocks should jump ahead, Reuters reported.

The plan being considered would move clocks two hours forward. For instance, marathon runners would set off at 5 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. to avoid sweltering conditions during their races.

Advocating for the plan, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said in a statement to Reuters that the move would "also help protect the environment and realize a low-carbon society in Japan."

However, people took to social media to complain that the change would be difficult to adjust to and they could risk losing sleep.

"It's way too easy to imagine that we'll start work two hours earlier and finish the same in the dark, meaning long days," a commenter said, according to Reuters.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

David Gilmour performs at Anfiteatro Scavi di Pomei on July 7, 2016 in Pompei, Italy. Francesco Prandoni / Redferns / Getty Images

David Gilmour, guitarist, singer and songwriter in the rock band Pink Floyd, set a record last week when he auctioned off 126 guitars and raised $21.5 million for ClientEarth, a non-profit environmental law group dedicated to fighting the global climate crisis, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue speaks during a forum April 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

The Trump administration ratcheted up its open hostility to climate science in a move that may hide essential information from the nation's farmers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
Protestors and police stand on ether side of railway tracks. dpa / picture-alliance

Police have cleared 250 climate activists who stayed overnight at the Garzweiler brown coal mine in western Germany, officials said Sunday.

Read More Show Less
Cecilie_Arcurs / E+ / Getty Images

By Megan Jones and Jennifer Solomon

The #MeToo movement has caused profound shake-ups at organizations across the U.S. in the last two years. So far, however, it has left many unresolved questions about how workplaces can be more inclusive and equitable for women and other diverse groups.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Cigarette butts are the most-littered item found at beach clean ups. John R. Platt

By Tara Lohan

By now it's no secret that plastic waste in our oceans is a global epidemic. When some of it washes ashore — plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers — we get a stark reminder. And lately one part of this problem has been most glaring to volunteers who comb beaches picking up trash: cigarette butts.

Read More Show Less

Andrea Rodgers, second from the right, takes notes during a hearing in the Juliana v. U.S. case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland, Oregon on June 4. Colleague Elizabeth Brown sits to her left, while colleague Julia Olson sits on her right, with co-council Philip Gregory on Julia's right. Robin Loznak / Our Children's Trust

By Fran Korten

On June 4, Andrea Rodgers was in the front row of attorneys sitting before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court. The court session, held in Portland, Oregon, was to determine whether the climate change lawsuit (Juliana v. United States) brought by 21 young plaintiffs should be dismissed, as requested by the U.S. government, or go on to trial.

Read More Show Less
Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday. SCOOTERCASTER / YouTube screenshot

Seventy Extinction Rebellion protesters were arrested outside The New York Times building Saturday as they demanded the paper improve its coverage of the climate crisis, Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less