The extreme heat creates a mirage in front of Tokyo Station on July 23
23 July, 2018, 18:27
A lingering high pressure system has brought record-high temperatures to the region for more than a week, killing more than 40 people in Japan and 10 in South Korea.
On July 18, temperatures of 40 degrees and above were recorded in Japan for the first time in nearly five years, with Tajimi and Mino cities in Gifu Prefecture hitting 40.7 degrees and 40.6 degrees, respectively.
Japan's disaster management agency has urged people to use air-conditioning, drink sufficient water and rest often while at work.
Thousands more have gone to hospital after suffering in the sweltering heat.
Japan has been battered by intense heat for close to two weeks but the mercury soared on Monday, breaking above 40 in one part of the broader Tokyo metropolitan area, while the center of the capital marked a high of 39 in the early afternoon.
Kyodo News agency has tallied more than 40 deaths. Numerous victims have been elderly people who were not using air conditioning.
The high temperature was recorded in the city of Kumagaya, in Saitama prefecture, topping the previous high of 41 in the western prefecture of Kochi in August 2013, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Seven of them died last week, the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said today.
The temperature reached 102 degrees on Monday in central Tokyo, the highest temperature this year.
Tourists in Tokyo's historic Asakusa district struggled with the heat. The worst of the heat wave is expected to be over this week.
"It's hard to us because we don't have this heat in Mexico", she said.
Tokyo's Application File to host the 2020 Games reads: "The pleasant weather conditions at this time of year will be ideal for athletes". Other steps include developing road pavements that emit less surface heat, setting up mist sprays and planting tall roadside trees.
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The current heatwave being the hottest on record has raised some concerns about the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Eleven people, mostly senior citizens, died of suspected heatstroke on Saturday alone, the Japan Times reports.
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