Japan aims to halve heatstroke deaths by 2030

The Japanese government has drawn up a draft plan aimed at halving the number of heatstroke deaths by 2030.

Statistics show that the annual average number of deaths from heatstroke during the five years through 2022 stood at 1,295. The draft plan was compiled in line with last month's revised law designed to step up measures to prevent heatstroke.

In summer last year, those 65 and older accounted for more than 80 percent of heatstroke deaths. In addition, about 90 percent of those who died indoors were found not to have used, or had, air conditioners.

Under the plan, the government will enhance measures to protect the elderly from heatstroke. Specifically, it will call on the elderly to use air conditioners when necessary, and seek cooperation from welfare organizations to keep watch on them.

To reduce the risk of heatstroke for children, the government will assist schools to install air conditioners in classrooms and gymnasiums. It will also take steps to make sure children are not left in nursery-school buses.

The government will also consider setting up a system to locate and confirm the safety of those who need public assistance among the elderly and people with disabilities who are believed vulnerable to heatstroke.

After approving the plan in a Cabinet meeting, the government will put it into practice in June and reinforce anti-heatstroke measures for summer.