Pedestrians in the Shibuya district of Tokyo try to keep cool while waiting for the traffic light to change. Takayuki Kakuno The government cautioned about the severe strain placed on the electricity supply at Tokyo Electric Power Co. for the third day on June 29 as the situation could worsen as temperatures soar.
The economy ministry issues a caution when electricity usage is expected to exceed 95 percent of capacity the following day.
A review of electricity supply on the morning of June 29 based on the latest weather forecast had usage at more than 97 percent, the cutoff point for a stable supply of electricity, between 4: 30 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Economy ministry officials said that TEPCO would borrow electric power from other utilities to help it avoid a worst-case scenario, despite the fact that a warning would normally be issued at such a stage.
The economy ministry asked those using TEPCO electricity to conserve energy between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to guard against any unexpected developments, such as coal-fired thermal plants malfunctioning.
The ministry said the caution would remain in place the following day and that the use of TEPCO would be the best way to conserve energy between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on June 30.
At the same time, government officials asked people to use their air conditioners at home in order to avoid heatstroke, because of the scorching heat that continues to grip a large part of the nation.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said on June 29 that the recorded temperature exceeded 30 degrees at 610 of the 914 observation points and exceeded 35 degrees at 146 locations.
Gunma Prefecture recorded a temperature of 40 degrees the second time this summer the city had the mercury soar above 40.
The capital had temperatures over 35 degrees for the fifth day in a row, as the temperature in central Tokyo reached 35.4 degrees.
The rainy season had ended in the southern Tohoku region, the first time that has happened in June, according to the agency. If the June 29 end of the rainy season is confirmed, the 14 day period would be the shortest since record-keeping began in 1951.
The rainy season is still considered in place in the northern Tohoku region.
Between June 20 and 26 a total of 4,551 people had been taken by ambulance to treat heatstroke, a fourfold increase over the same period in 2021, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.