Environment Ministry seeks funding for heatstroke prevention initiative

JIJI

The Environment Ministry plans to launch an initiative in fiscal 2019 to comb the country for effective measures being taken to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke, sources said.

The ministry plans to select some of the measures as model projects to be redesigned and spread to other municipalities and companies.

Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward offers intensive support to seniors found at high risk of heatstroke by nurses who visit them to check on their air conditioner use and family situation.

At eight gardens in Tokyo, the Japan Weather Association offers visitors free use of traditional Japanese umbrellas while walking around to protect them from the sun.

But measures like these are not in widespread use across Japan.

In its budget request for fiscal 2019, the ministry will seek ¥66 million in funding for the initiative. The move comes after this year’s scorching heat wave makes more people vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heatstroke than ever.

Nationwide, those taken to hospitals for heat-related maladies between April 30 and Sunday totaled 82,014, a record for any similar period, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.