TOKYO: The west of Japan had its hottest ever summer this year, official figures showed yesterday after a season in which heatstroke reportedly killed hundreds and hospitalised tens of thousands nationwide.
The average temperature from June to August was 1.2 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal norm, with the mercury hitting a record 41 degrees C in the western city of Kochi on August 12, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.
That broke the old high of 40.9 degrees Celsius registered in two central cities in August 2007.
Of the nearly 54,000 taken to hospital suffering from heatstroke over the three months from late May, 87 people died, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
Public broadcaster NHK, which did its own tally to include those found dead at home, said at least 338 died of heatstroke between late May and August, nearly 80 percent of them above 60.