Heat headache for 2020 planners as Tokyo swelters a year before Games
By Elaine Lies
Soaring temperatures in Japan have killed at least 57 people since late July, authorities said on Tuesday, highlighting the health threat to athletes and fans that Olympics organizers must tackle before next year’s Tokyo games.
Tokyo organizers are evaluating heat-fighting measures from mist sprays and ice packs to shaded rest areas and tents at security checkpoints.
“We will keep working closely together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the national government and relevant stakeholders to ensure the successful delivery of the Games,” [Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa] Takaya said.
Tomoyuki Kitamura, a JMA scientific officer, said Tokyo suffers from a “heat island effect” where concentrated heat in cities prevents them from cooling off at night.
“But the bigger impact is from global warming. There’s no doubt about this at all,” he said.