• Jiji, Kyodo

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The government said Tuesday that it will test a new heatstroke alert system from July 1.

According to the Environment Ministry and the Meteorological Agency, an alert will be sent out for days with high risks of head-related illness during the trial, which runs through Oct. 28 in Tokyo and eight prefectures in the Kanto-Koshin region.

Alerts will be delivered through television broadcasts, emails and local government emergency radio systems at 5 p.m. the day before and at 5 a.m. on high risk days.

The government will send out an alert on a prefectural basis if the index for assessing the risk of heat-related illness is forecast to exceed a reading of 33 Celsius or higher. The index is calculated by measuring temperature, humidity and the intensity of sunlight, according to the Environment Ministry.

The new index would replace the Meteorological Agency’s heat advisory system, which alerts citizens on days in which the temperature reaches 35 degrees Celsius or higher.

Reflecting the results of the trial, the new alert system will be expanded nationwide from next summer.

Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi told a news conference that if the heatstroke risk index exceeds 33, such conditions significantly boost the number of heat-related fatalities and hospitalizations.

If the alert is issued, citizens should stop outdoor activity, avoid going out for nonessential or nonurgent business and call aged people’s attention to the heat, Koizumi said.

He also urged citizens to remove their face masks outdoors, if they can keep appropriate social distances from each other.

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