TOKYO -- Temperatures soared across Japan on July 31 as a high-pressure system covered a wide swath of the archipelago from the Kinki region in the west to Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido.
Of 914 observation points across the country, 725 recorded a maximum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius or above. These included 168 observation points where the mercury hit at least 35 C -- the level regarded as an "extremely hot day" in Japan. The northern Japan city of Kushiro, Hokkaido, logged 33.5 C -- the highest figure there since record-keeping began in 1910.
The Japan Meteorological Agency is urging people to take measures to prevent heatstroke as the extreme heat is expected to continue until Aug. 2 in the Kanto region around Tokyo.
In east Japan's Kanto region, temperatures reached a high of 38.6 C in the Gunma Prefecture city of Isesaki, 38.4 C in the Saitama Prefecture city of Kumagaya, 38.2 C in the Ibaraki Prefecture town of Daigo, and 38.1 C in the suburban Tokyo city of Ome. With 35.0 C recorded in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, it was the first extremely hot day in the heart of the capital since July 3.
In the Kinki region and central Japan's Tokai region, the mercury hit 37.4 C in Kyoto's Nakagyo Ward; 36.8 C in the Osaka Prefecture city of Hirakata; 36.5 C in the Shiga Prefecture city of Hikone; 36.9 C in the Aichi Prefecture city of Toyota; and 36.0 C in the Mie Prefecture city of Iga.
(Japanese original by Koji Endo, Tokyo City News Department)