Japan is experiencing record heat. Last week, the temperature in eastern Japan reached 40ºC for the first time in June. Isesaki City in Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo, recorded a temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday. The hotter than usual weather means people are using their air conditioners more. This is making it difficult for power companies to keep up with demand. To help these companies, Japan's government has asked people to use less electricity. Spokesman Yoshihiko Isozaki said: "We ask the public to reduce energy consumption during the early evening hours." He wants people to turn off unnecessary lights from 3 pm to 6 pm and use air conditioners less.
Japan's heat wave is set to continue. The weather agency said that the country's rainy season finished at its earliest since records began in 1851. This means a longer and hotter summer. The government said: "We are struck by unusual heat for the season. Please cooperate and save as much power as possible." The Tokyo Electric Power Company warned there was a risk of power shortages and blackouts if people did not use less energy. There is also a risk of people getting heatstroke. More than 250 people were taken to hospital in Tokyo over the weekend after suffering from heatstroke. The government is advising people to drink more water and not to exercise outside in the heat.