Temperatures reached 39.5 degrees celsius (103.1 fahrenheit) in the northeastern coastal Hokkaido town of Saroma, at 2:07 p.m. Sunday. The temperature was the highest ever recorded in the country for the month of May and the highest ever for the Hokkaido prefecture.
The previous record high temperature recorded in Hokkaido was 37.8 degrees in Otofuke on June 3, 2014, and in Obihiro on July 12, 1924.
The previous record for the month of May in the country was set on May 13, 1993, was 37.2 °C in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture.
Temperatures had never before reached 35 °C in Hokkaido in the month of May or 38 °C at any time of the year in the prefecture.
Two people died due to the extreme heat and at least 575 people across the country were hospitalized, suffering from symptoms pointing to heatstroke, according to data compiled by Kyodo News.