Japan heatwave: Dancing amusement park mascot among 11 people dead as temperatures reach 37C

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
The Japanese heatwave has seen temperatures in the country reach the mid-thirties (Getty)

A 28-year-old man dressed at a mascot in an amusement park is among the victims of Japan’s ongoing heatwave.

The unidentified man died of heatstroke while wearing the costume at Hirakata Park on Sunday.

He had reportedly been dancing for 20 minutes in temperatures of over 28C while wearing the 16kg costume before he collapsed.

Heat haze distorts the background as pedestrians walk past during a heatwave in Tokyo (Getty)

He later died in hospital.

As a result of his death, the amusement park has now cancelled all mascot events over the summer.

Park owners Keihan Leisure Service promised to "find the cause" of the incident and "work to prevent it from happening again”.

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Temperatures in Japan have rocketed to the mid-30s, reaching 37C in some parts of the country, leading to 11 deaths and the hospitalisation of over 5,000 people.

Official figures show that over half of those seeking hospital treatment were over 65.

Temperatures in Japan are expected to remain higher than average for the next week.

A man cools off at a mist station installed at Shiokaze Park during the beach volleyball test event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Getty)

Organisers of Tokyo 2020 are ramping up measures to deal with a potential heatwave next year while the Olympics take place at the same time of the year.

Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) measuring devices will be used to determine when it is unsafe for athletes to exercise, while cooling facilities for spectators - including water vapour sprays and shaded areas - will be installed.

Last year, more than 80 people died as Japan experienced a heatwave that was declared a natural disaster, with temperatures reaching over 41 degrees.

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