Japan considering daylight savings switch over Olympics heatwave fears

Japan considering daylight savings switch over Olympics heatwave fears
Japan is reportedly considering introducing daylight savings time in a bid to ensure athletes and fans at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo do not fall victim to the searing temperatures that the nation has experienced this summer.

Officials are reportedly concerned that high temperatures could mean the safety of athletes, fans and volunteers is endangered at certain events, and are said to be willing to introduce changes that see the clocks moved forward two hours.

The government could pass a bill this autumn seeing the time change implemented for 2019 and 2020, according to Bloomberg, citing local media.

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The change would see events such as the marathon, which is scheduled to take place at 7am, effectively be run at 5am when the mercury is much lower.  

The concerns come as Japan suffers a deadly heatwave this summer in which more than 57,000 people have been hospitalized with heatstroke and more than 120 people have died of heat-related causes.

Tokyo has seen temperatures in excess of 40C (104F) for the first time as a heatwave has swept across the country, prompting the government to declare a natural disaster.

Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Olympics from July 24 to August 9, the second time the city has held the event.

On the first occasion in 1964 it was held in the cooler month of October, although switching the dates would not be an option this time round due to TV rights and scheduling issues.