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Most powerful typhoon in 25 years strikes Japan

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

 

Strong waves brought by Typhoon Jebi in Japan | CCTV via REUTERS

Typhoon Jebi made landfall in the southern part of Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, at around 12:30 Tuesday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The typhoon brought torrential rain and powerful gusts of winds across western Japan, causing at least one dead.

It is said to be the most powerful typhoon in Japan in 25 years. It has moved on a northward trajectory at a speed of 45 kilometers per hour since its landing.

Affected by the typhoon, rainstorm battered the Tokushima Prefecture Tuesday morning, dumping 83 millimeters of water an hour.

JMA on Tuesday morning urged the public in seven prefectures to be vigilant against high waves, potential floods, and landslides.

More than 600 local and international flights have been canceled and Japan’s top two carriers, All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. have canceled 289 and 180 flights, respectively.

The Tokaido Shinkansen and Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train lines have been suspended and parts of major highways have also been closed.

Some stores in Osaka and Kyoto prefectures and other parts of western Japan have shut down for the day.

JMA said the typhoon will pick up speed as it passes, which will then bring strong winds and heavy rains across Japan.

It is also said that Typhoon Jebi will be downgraded to an extra-tropical cyclone by Wednesday and will badly affect Tokyo. — Reuters

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South Koreans boycott Japanese brands and cancel trips as diplomatic row intensifies

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Angry South Korean consumers are taking action after Tokyo imposed curbs on exports to South Korea, promoting a widespread boycott of Japanese products and services, from beer to clothes and travel.

“We decided to cancel (the trip to Japan) because it went against our beliefs. I’m actually feeling relieved,” said Lee Sang-won, a 29-year-old designer, who canceled his Japan trip for a 130,000 won ($110.15) fee.

Screenshots of Japan trip cancellations are trending on social media. Lee and his friends, who have changed their holiday destination to Taiwan, ‘proudly’ presented their canceled ticket to Japan on his social media account.

“I believe it is very significant for South Korean citizens to show them (the Japanese government) their thoughts and actions. These boycotts are not about how much economic damage we can inflict, but about how we can raise their awareness,” said Lee, scheduling his trip to Taiwan with his friend.

Diplomatic tensions have been simmering again since a South Korean court last year ordered Japanese companies to compensate South Koreans who were forced to work during the war. Then on July 4, Japan restricted exports of high-tech materials to South Korea, denying the move was related to the compensation issue. Tokyo cited “inadequate management” of sensitive exports, with Japanese media reporting some items ended up in North Korea. Seoul has denied that.

Meanwhile, some local supermarkets pulled Japanese beers off the shelves, which was their way of taking a stance against Japan as a quickly worsening political and economic dispute between the two East Asian neighbors rekindles lingering animosity since Japan’s World War Two occupation of Korea.

“Of course we should (boycott Japanese products). There are so many good, tasty products, domestic and overseas alike, so why bother (consuming Japanese products) when we have this problem with Japan?” said a 55-year-old South Korean customer at a local market where he can’t find Japanese beers, said he has plenty of other options which can replace Japanese products.

Economists say the tech export curbs could shave 0.4% off South Korea’s gross domestic product this year. The boycott – if it proves to be more than just a brief burst of nationalistic fervor – could marginally add to that, unless consumers spend on something else.

“We are pleased to see this has turned consumers’ favor towards our pens,” said Park Seol, assistant manager at stationery maker Monami, whose online sales have risen five-fold since the curbs.

Japan’s Fast Retailing fashion brand Uniqlo, which sells clothes worth around 140 billion yen – 6.6% of its revenue – in 186 Korean stores, is also feeling the anger as its chief financial officer said last week there was a certain impact on sales. (REUTERS)

(Production: Daewoung Kim & Heejung Jung)

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Kyoto animation studio fire death toll rises to 33

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019

Fire-damaged animation studio building | Courtesy: China Central Television (CCTV)

The death toll from an animation studio fire in Kyoto, Japan on Thursday has risen to 33, local police and rescuers said.

The local fire department said 36 others have been injured, 10 of them critically, in the blaze that sent people desperately scrambling up the stairs toward the roof of the three-story building of the Kyoto Animation Co.

The blaze, ignited by a 41-year-old man with flammable liquid, is believed to be the country’s worst case of arson in decades.

About 70 people were working in the studio when the fire started.

Witnesses said that they saw victims who were badly bleeding were rushed to hospital in the incident that took place at around 10:35 local time in the city’s Fushimi Ward Thursday morning.

Police said the largest number of victims were found on the top floor of the three-story building, including some who had collapsed on the stairs leading to the roof.

The fire caused an explosion that shattered all the windows on the second and third floors.

More than 30 fire engines were deployed to the scene.

The firefighters managed to contain the fire around 03:20 local time, about five hours after it started.

“We sent out a quick report that the building had burned down. This is what has been learned from the investigation at the moment. The building, about 691 square meters, was completely destroyed,” said a Kyoto fireman.

The suspect is also being treated in hospital for injuries sustained during the fire and has been taken into custody, investigators said. His motives are yet to be determined. (REUTERS)

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Monsoon rains still affecting Luzon after TS Falcon’s exit

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019

File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm Falcon (international name Danas) has exited the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) yet monsoon rains will still affect most parts of Luzon.

As of 4:00 am on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms will prevail over Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and the rest of Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley.

Likewise, the southwest monsoon or habagat will continue to affect the regions of Ilocos, Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, Zambales, and Bataan.

The rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers brought about by localized thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, the new low pressure area (LPA) that PAGASA has been monitoring remains outside PAR and has no direct effect yet to the country.

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