Temperatures rose across Japan on Tuesday, climbing to near record highs around 40 C in a number of areas, with the weather agency warning of heat-related illnesses.
The government issued an alert covering wide areas from eastern to western Japan, requesting people to drink water and avoid going outdoors to prevent heat exhaustion.
The country's record high of 41.1 C was registered in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, in 2018 and was equaled in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, in 2020.
On Tuesday, temperatures were forecast to rise to 41 C in Kumagaya, north of Tokyo, 39 C in Nagoya in central Japan and 37 C in central Tokyo, according to the weather agency.
Among the 914 observation points nationwide, temperatures had risen to 30 C or above in 380 locations as of 9 a.m., with the mercury hitting 38.3 C in Kumagaya and 35.1 in Japan's capital as of 1:30 p.m.
Countries across the globe have been battling extreme temperatures in recent weeks. Britain recorded over 40 C in July for the first time, while heat warnings have been issued in dozens of locations in the United States.
Portugal has reported more than 1,000 deaths due to heat-related illnesses.