Foreigners and heatstroke in Japan


Have you experienced heatstroke symptoms in Japan? graph of japanese statisticsWith the 2020 Tokyo Olympics taking place right in the middle of the hot and humid Japan summer, heatstroke is a real worry, and indeed I saw on the news today that a committee had its first meeting today to discuss this very problem, so this survey from the Japan Weather Association and its Heatstroke Zero project into Japan’s heat will be a useful resource for the committee.

I’ve once had very close to heatstroke with uncontrollable sweating; on entering an air-conditioned cafe after a long walk in the sun I had sweat literally pouring out, and after a minute or two I looked as if someone had chucked a bucket of water over my head!

Research results

Q1: Have you experienced any heatstroke symptoms during summer in Japan (June to September)? (Sample size=200)

Yes (to SQ)75.5%

Q1SQ: Which heatstroke symptoms have you experienced? (Sample size=151, multiple answer)

Physical heaviness, nausea54%
Dizziness, foggy brain45%
High body temperature, abnormal skin34%
Strange sweatiness23%
Stomach pains, diarrhea15%
Hand, foot numbness14%
Muscle spasms13%
Unable to call for help10%
Convulsions, unable to walk straight9%

Q2: If you feel a danger of heatstroke when out and about, where would you go to seek relief? (Sample size=200, multiple answer)

Cafe, restaurant, fast food, other eatery59%
Supermarket, department store55%
Shade in a park, etc52%
Convenience store50%
Library, other public facility37%
Theatre, cinema, aquarium, other leisure facility35%
Game centre, karaoke parlour, other entertainment facility18%

Q3: What kinds of scenes might there be a danger of heatstroke? (Sample size=200, multiple answer)

School event on a hot day54%
Open-air concert53%
Hot and humid room at home without air conditioning48%
Crowded train45%
Outdoor sports44%
Mountaineering, hiking43%
Crowded street42%
Queueing at a theme park40%
Swimming at a beach17%
Outdoor swimming pool15%
Indoor sports13%
In a business district11%


Between the 13th and 22nd of May 2016 200 people born overseas and who had lived at least the first three years of their life there and who had also lived in Japan over the summer months of May to September completed an internet-based questionnaire. The members of the sample were aged between 20 and 59, and there were 50 people from each of four temperature regions: tropical Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, arid Egypt and Saudi Arabia, temperate UK, France, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and cold Russia and Canada.

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