• STAFF REPORT, KYODO

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The city of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, reported a record high of 41.1 degrees on Monday, tying the national record set two years ago by Kumagaya in Saitama Prefecture.

The report marked Hamamatsu's second consecutive day above 40 degrees (104 F) as temperatures soar across the nation. Kumagaya set the current record on July 23, 2018.

Temperature records in Japan are being shattered more frequently due to global warming caused by human activity. The Meteorological Agency launched an experimental heatstroke alert last month to reduce the death toll from Japan's scorching summers. The system is being tested in the Kanto-Koshin region in eastern Japan, with an eye to rolling it out nationwide.

The Meteorological Agency has warned the public to take preventive measures against heat-related illness, as scorching heat is expected to continue for some time, with wide areas of the country likely to see temperatures reach 38 on Tuesday.

On Monday, temperatures in Shinshiro, Aichi Prefecture, rose to 38, while the mercury in Kochi, Miyazaki and Wakayama prefectures topped 37, according to the agency.

Japan has been experiencing extraordinary heat in recent days, with temperatures in the cities of Isesaki and Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, logging 40.5 last week. The temperature in other parts of Japan also eclipsed 39 on Sunday.

The 2018 record high of 41.1 in Kumagaya topped the previous record of 41.0 marked in August 2013 in Shimanto, Kochi Prefecture.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said last Wednesday that 10 people died and 6,664 were rushed to hospitals in the week through Aug. 9 due to heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

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