Japanese find ways to beat the heatwave as temperatures hit record highs

admin   •   July 24, 2018   •   3553

A businessman wipes his face while walking on a street during a heatwave in Tokyo, Japan July 23, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

 

Over 200 people in Yokohama’s Chinatown splashed water on streets and pavements in the hopes of providing some relief from the heat as temperatures nationwide rose to record highs on Monday (July 23) and the death toll mounted to over 65 dead in the last week.

Kyodo News Agency reported that at least 65 people died of heat stroke and over 20,000 people were hospitalized between July 16-22. According to the Fire and Defence Management Agency, at least 12 died the week before that.

Shouting “get cooler”, the crowd in Yokohama participated in an annual national event repeated across the nation that seeks to bring back an ancient tradition dating back hundreds of years called “uchimizu”, which is known to cool a street down – even if briefly – by a few degrees Celsius.

Today, which also happens to be the first day of midsummer in the Asian calendar and aptly called ‘Taisho’ or ‘blistering heat’ in Japanese, some companies also took to allowing their employees to work from home.

Since 2015, Tokyo-based Infoteria Corporation has been allowing its workers to telecommute on days in the summer when the heat reaches 35 degrees celsius (95 Fahrenheit) such as today.

Engineer Hidekazu Kishimoto says his long one hour and a half commute one-way to work is just too exhausting in this heat. His boss, Hitoshi Nagasawa agrees, saying the program has been good for employees’ morale.

At least 2,000 companies have also signed up this week to reduce commuting congestion and ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics by promoting working from home.

On Monday, temperatures rose to a record 41.1 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) in Kumagaya city northwest of Tokyo in a heatwave. The temperatures were also the highest in its recorded history dating back to 1896, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. — Reuters

Japan Coast Guard stops search ops for crew of missing cargo vessel

Robie de Guzman   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Japanese Coast Guard has ended its full-time search operations for the missing crew of a cargo vessel that sank off southwestern Japan, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

In a statement, the DFA said the Japanese Coast Guard has transitioned to its usual patrol arrangements as they have found no trace of the ship since Sept. 5.

“The DFA joins the families and loved ones in continued prayers for the missing seafarers,” it said.

Reports said the 11,947-ton Gulf Livestock 1 ship was carrying 5,800 cows west of the western coast of Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture when it made a distress call on September 2. The cause of the distress is still unknown but the weather and seas were rough in the area due to Typhoon Maysak.

The vessel was carrying 43 crew members, 39 of whom are Filipinos.

The Japanese Coast Guard earlier found the remains of a Filipino sailor, while two were rescued.

1 of 39 Filipino seafarers in missing vessel off Japan rescued — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Thursday (September 3) that one of the 39 Filipino crew members of the missing Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel off the waters of Japan has already been rescued.

The DFA made the confirmation through the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka.

The agency also confirmed that they made a distress call on Wednesday (September 2) from Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture before it disappeared.

The DFA assured that the Consulate General in Osaka is closely monitoring the situation as search and rescue operations for the missing vessel continue. 

The Japanese Coast Guard has already deployed patrol boats and airplanes and is launching a second search and rescue mission prior to the expected incoming typhoon.

The DFA Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs (OUMWA) and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Osaka are in close coordination with Korpil Ship Management and Manning Corp., the local manning agency, in ascertaining the condition of the Filipino seafarers.

Japan Coast Guard searching for missing ship with 39 Filipino sailors

Robie de Guzman   •   September 3, 2020

Gulf Livestock 1 vessel that went missing off southwestern Japan after departing from Napier on August 14, 2020. Photo/VesselFinder

MANILA, Philippines – The search operations of the Japanese Coast Guard for a missing livestock vessel with 43 crew members onboard is still ongoing, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the Philippine Consulate General in Osaka, the DFA confirmed reports that a Panamanian-flagged cargo vessel went missing off southwestern Japan.

The DFA said the Japanese Coast Guard already deployed patrol boats and airplanes to conduct the search for the missing ship.

The vessel is reportedly carrying 43 crew members, 39 of whom are Filipinos.

So far, one Filipino was reported to have been rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard.

Reports said the 11,947-ton Gulf Livestock 1 ship was carrying 5,800 cows west of the western coast of Amami Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture when it made a distress call on September 2. The cause of the distress is still unknown but the weather and seas were rough in the area due to Typhoon Maysak.

The DFA said the Consulate General in Osaka is monitoring the situation.

The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Osaka is also coordinating with local manning agency, Korphil Ship Management and Manning Corp. in ascertaining the condition of the Filipino seafarers. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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