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Japan smolders as heatwave prompts electricity crisis warning – Asia Pacific News News – Report by AFR

The Japanese government warned of a power crisis on Monday as extreme heat ravages the country, temperature records fall and Tokyo’s rainy season is declared over at the earliest possible date.

Residents in and around the capital were asked to save energy, especially in the early evening.

Temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) are forecast in Tokyo throughout Monday and mercury is not expected to fall below 34 by Sunday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

“We urge the public to reduce energy use in the early evening hours when the reserve ratio falls,” Yoshihiko Isozaki, deputy chief of cabinet, said at a regular news conference.

But he warned residents should do whatever it takes to stay cool and avoid heat stroke.

Much of Japan would normally experience a rainy season at this time of year, but the JMA on Monday declared the season over in the Kanto region, home of Tokyo, and the neighboring Koshin area.

It was the earliest end of the season since records began in 1951, and a full 22 days earlier than usual.

The agency also declared the end of the rainy season in central Japan’s Tokai and part of southern Kyushu, saying this year’s rainy season in those areas and Kanto-Koshin was the shortest on record.

On Sunday, the city of Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture north of Tokyo recorded the hottest temperature ever recorded in Japan in June, at 40.2C.

“Immediately after the end of the rainy season, many people are still fully acclimating to the heat and are at greater risk of heat stroke,” the weather bureau warned in a statement.

Asako Naruse, 58, toured Ginza along with pedestrians carrying umbrellas for shade.

“July and August are so hot every year, but in June I felt such heat for the first time,” she told AFP.

“I’m from northern Japan, so these temperatures seem really extreme.”

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