Heat wave left 45 dead in Tokyo in a week

As extreme heat hits Japan, Tokyo authorities say 45 people have died in the metropolitan area in the week through Wednesday due to suspected heatstroke.

Police and the Medical Examiner's Office say the victims had ages ranging from the 40s to the 90s.

NHK has been able to obtain details on the lives of 26 of the deceased people. Thirteen were elderly persons living alone, including a woman in her 70s in Katsushika Ward who was found dead in a room with a non-working air-conditioner.

The victims often had few contacts with people in the neighborhood even when they lived with their families.

In Nishitokyo City on Wednesday, two women in their 90s and 60s, who are believed to have been a mother and daughter, were found dead in a room with the temperature approaching 38 degrees Celsius.

Police and neighbors said the two had declined local government support and refused to have interactions with people in the community.

A resident said the deaths are regrettable as he thinks he could have offered help if he had been able to come into contact with them.

In Suginami Ward, an 88-year-old husband with dementia was left alone after his 83-year-old wife, who was taking care of him, died in their apartment on Monday. In this case, too, the air-conditioner was not operating.

The husband has trouble using the air-conditioner. So his son and his wife decided to frequently visit and support the old man.

The son said it's sad his mother has died, but he is worried about his father, whose dementia is advancing.