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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(12), 4563-4581; doi:10.3390/ijerph8124563

Local Heat Stroke Prevention Plans in Japan: Characteristics and Elements for Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change

Basque Centre for Climate Change, 4 Alameda Urquijo, Bilbao Vizcaya 48008, Spain
World Health Organization Centre for Health and Development, 1-5-1 Wakinohama-Kaigandori Chuoku, Kobe 651-0073, Japan
Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyoku 113-0033, Tokyo, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2011 / Revised: 23 November 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 7 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
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The adverse health effects from hot weather and heat waves represent significant public health risks in vulnerable areas worldwide. Rising temperatures due to climate change are aggravating these risks in a context of fast urbanization, population growth and societal ageing. However, environmental heat-related health effects are largely preventable through adequate preparedness and responses. Public health adaptation to climate change will often require the implementation of heat wave warning systems and targeted preventive activities at different levels. While several national governments have established such systems at the country level, municipalities do not generally play a major role in the prevention of heat disorders. This paper analyzes selected examples of locally operated heat-health prevention plans in Japan. The analysis of these plans highlights their strengths, but also the need of local institutions for assistance to make the transition towards an effective public health management of high temperatures and heat waves. It can also provide useful elements for municipal governments in vulnerable areas, both in planning their climate change and health adaptation activities or to better protect their communities against current health effects from heat. View Full-Text
Keywords: local governments; heat-health action plans; climate change; adaptation local governments; heat-health action plans; climate change; adaptation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Martinez, G.S.; Imai, C.; Masumo, K. Local Heat Stroke Prevention Plans in Japan: Characteristics and Elements for Public Health Adaptation to Climate Change. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4563-4581.

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