Warning for risk of heat stroke Japan issued today to tens of millions of people as record high temperatures are recorded in parts of the country, while torrential rains affect other parts of the country.

National broadcaster NHK warned viewers that the heat was at life-threatening levels as temperatures soared to nearly 40 degrees Celsius in some places, including the capital Tokyo.

“Please stay hydrated and use proper air conditioners and avoid going out when things are rough,” said a news anchor.

The government issued warnings for the risk of heatstroke in 20 of the country’s 47 prefectures, mainly in the east and southwest, where tens of millions of people are affected.

The town of Kiryu in Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, saw the mercury reach 39.7 degrees Celsius, while Hachioji in western Tokyo reached 38.9 degrees Celsius, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Japan was 41.1C, which was first recorded in Kumagaya City, Saitama, in 2018 and the same was recorded in 2020 in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka.

Meanwhile, torrential rains continue to lash northern Japan, where there have been floods and at least one landslide.

A man was found dead in a car submerged in a rice paddy in Akita prefecture, police told AFP, a week after seven people were killed in similar weather in the country’s southwest.

Since last weekend, a heavy rain band has caused record rainfall in some areas of Japan, resulting in river overflows and landslides.

Japan experiences the annual rainy season which often results in floods and landslides, as well as casualties.

However, scientists say that the climate change heightens the risk of heavy rainfall in Japan and elsewhere because a warmer atmosphere holds more water.