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The average sea surface temperature around Japan in August hit a record high, exceeding the average in normal years by 1.2 degrees, the Meteorological Agency said Thursday.

The previous record was marked in 1994, when the average temperature eclipsed that of a normal year by 0.9 degree, according to the agency.

In August, sea surface temperatures in the Pacific from the Tohoku region to Okinawa, as well as most parts of the Sea of Japan, exceeded 25, because of the stationary high-pressure ridge over the Pacific and the slow sea movement, the agency said.

Commenting on the poor saury catches reported in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region, an agency official noted the cold-water fish could not approach Japan.

The official also said high water temperatures in the Sea of Japan may have sustained the force of Typhoon Malou, which made landfall in the Hokuriku region Wednesday.

Sea surface temperatures normally peak in mid-August but this year they have continued into this month.

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