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Climate Change

Tokyo, Beijing battle dangerous early summer heat waves

First heatstroke alert of year issued in Japan capital; heavy rains pound the south

People travel out amid extreme hot weather in Beijing on July 6. Chinese capital's temperature exceeded 40C for two straight days last week.   © AP

TOKYO -- The capitals of Japan and China are suffering from unseasonable heat waves, highlighting how global warming continues to take its toll on health and economic activity.

Japanese weather officials on Monday issued the first heatstroke alert this year for Tokyo and nearby prefectures, urging people to stay indoors and avoid exercise as much as possible. Temperatures hit 35 C in Tokyo, with the heatstroke risk level in the "danger" zone -- the highest out of five categories -- for much of the day.

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