Japan's average temperature in 2022 was its highest ever for the fourth consecutive year, preliminary figures released by the country's weather agency showed Thursday.

Average temperatures nationwide were 0.7 degree higher than those of the 30-year period until 2020. The rising numbers have been attributed to climate change, and are the highest since 1898, the first year for which comparable data are available.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the high temperatures that persisted from summer through autumn, only dipping briefly, were responsible for pushing up the average yearly temperature.

Pedestrians use parasols in Tokyo's Ginza area as the mercury climbed above 35 C on June 26, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Temperatures were particularly high in northern and western Japan. Northern Japan's average temperature was 0.8 C higher than average, while eastern and western Japan were 0.6 C higher, followed by 0.5 C higher in Amami and Okinawa, south of the country's main islands, the agency said.

The preliminary figures were calculated by observing data compiled from January through November this year. There is a possibility that the final numbers may change when they are announced in January.

The previous record was broken in 2020 when nationwide temperatures were 0.65 C higher than the annual average.

Additionally, the agency said there were 25 typhoons this year of which 11 came near Japan, with both figures in line with annual averages. The number of typhoons that made landfall on Japan was three.

High annual rainfall was also observed in both northern Japan and in the southern Amami and Okinawa islands. Meanwhile, both the eastern and western coastlines of Japan received low precipitation, the agency said.

However, some regions also experienced record-breaking rainfall due to typhoons Nanmadol and Talas that hit in September.

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