The Japanese government has asked residents of Tokyo and the surrounding areas to use less electricity on Monday, June 27, as the nation prepares for a heatwave. The government advised people to turn off non-essential lights for three hours from 15:00 Tokyo time while “properly using air conditioning and hydrating during hot hours.” It urged turning off unnecessary lights while continuing to utilize air conditioning to prevent heatstroke. On the same date, local time, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry anticipates “severe” demand for electricity. The ministry predicted that Tokyo and eight neighboring prefectures’ extra electricity generating capacity would drop to 3.7 percent on Monday afternoon. It believes that a 3 percent buffer is required for a reliable power supply. “If there is an increase in demand and sudden supply troubles, the reserve margin will fall below the minimum required of 3 percent,” it said.

Summer in Japan officially begins in June, when daily highs are normally below 30 degrees Celsius. Over the weekend, the temperature climbed above 35 degrees Celsius in central Tokyo, while Isesaki, a city northwest of the capital, reached a record 40.2 degrees. The temperature in June was the highest ever recorded in Japan. Since certain nuclear power reactors’ operations had to be suspended in March as a result of an earthquake in Japan’s northeast, the country has had a limited supply of electricity. Officials have also shut down a number of outdated fossil fuel plants in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. There is a power shortage as a result of these problems and a rise in electrical consumption.