Heavy Rain Hits Western Japan As Storm Nears

Heavy rain hits western Japan as storm nears

Parts of western Japan have been pummeled by heavy rain due to Tropical Storm Danas.

The Meteorological Agency says Danas was situated over the East China Sea at 9 p.m. on Thursday.

Alert Over Record Rain In Western Japan

Alert over record rain in western Japan

Japanese weather officials say extremely heavy rain is expected to continue in the southwestern region of Kyushu through Thursday. Parts of the region are facing a high risk of mudslides and flooding as they have had two months' of rain in just a week.

The officials are encouraging people in the region to evacuate without waiting for advisories to ensure their safety.

Whaling Fleet Leaves Port In Western Japan

Whaling fleet leaves port in western Japan

A whaling fleet has left a port in Shimonoseki City, western Japan, to resume commercial whaling for the first time in 31 years.

A ceremony was held in front of the fleet's mother ship, the Nisshin Maru, on Monday.

2 Toddlers Die In Western Japan Traffic Accident

2 toddlers die in western Japan traffic accident

Two toddlers have died after a vehicle plowed into pedestrians at an intersection in western Japan. One other child is in serious condition, and eight were seriously injured.

The accident occurred at an intersection in the city of Otsu on Wednesday morning. The car collided with a group of 13 children and their three carers who were waiting for the pedestrian crossing signal to change. The group was out on a walk from a daycare center.

Infiniti Is Pulling Out Of Western Europe, Cutting Models

Infiniti is pulling out of Western Europe, cutting models

BEIJING — Nissan's premium brand Infiniti has announced it will exit Western Europe early next year, as it restructures its global operations and focuses on the world's top two auto markets. Infiniti said it will discontinue the Q30 sedan and the QX30 sport-utility vehicle and cease their production by the middle of 2019 at Nissan's manufacturing factory in Sunderland, England. Both models are sold globally but produced only in Britain. The QX30 is sold in the United States. The move comes as Infiniti seeks to divert its resources to markets with bigger opportunities, such as China and the United States, from a region where non-European premium brands are struggling to compete against local players such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Nissan also recently scrapped plans to build its new X-Trail SUV in Britain amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, saying it had taken the decision to optimize its investments by building the next generation model in Japan. "Western Europe remains the most challenging and competitive region for premium cars," Infiniti's chief spokesman, Trevor Hale, told Reuters. Infiniti's sales in western Europe almost halved last year to 5,800 vehicles. In addition to the tough competition, the Japanese premium brand, headquartered in Hong Kong since 2012, has struggled to effectively meet emissions and other regulatory requirements in the region, Hale said, referring to stringent Euro 6 emissions requirements and other regulatory challenges. "The commercial reality for Infiniti in Western Europe is that there is simply no visibility of a viable and sustainable business, especially given the regulatory challenges," he said. Infiniti said an exit from Western Europe will allow it to focus on its initiative to electrify a good portion of its product portfolio from 2021 and discontinue diesel offerings. The brand plans to focus more on its SUV lineup in North America, bring five new or significantly-redesigned vehicles to China over the next five years, improve quality of sales and residual value and realize more synergies with Nissan. "This is all part of Infiniti's vision to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment," it said. As it prepares to withdraw from Western Europe, Infiniti said it is working to find alternative opportunities for employees who would be affected, consulting with employee representatives where necessary and identifying opportunities for transition and training support where appropriate. Infiniti has 51 employees in its Western Europe operations. There are 55 Infiniti retail stores in Western Europe.

Strong Earthquake Hits Western Japan

Strong earthquake hits western Japan

A strong earthquake has hit western Japan. It registered an intensity of 6-minus on the Japanese seismic scale of zero to seven in Nagomimachi Town in Kumamoto Prefecture. There is no danger of tsunami.

Japan's Metrological Agency says the quake occurred at around 6:10 PM on Thursday. It had an estimated magnitude of 5.0.

Fireball Witnessed In Western Japan

Fireball witnessed in western Japan

People in western Japan say they witnessed what appeared to be a fireball flashing through the sky early Thursday morning.

NHK's cameras captured a flash of light shortly before 5 AM. A fireball travelled from north to south and shone brightly for a moment before disappearing.

Island In Western Japan Has No Water, Road Access

Island in western Japan has no water, road access

An island in western Japan has no water or road access after a pipe and cables on the bridge connecting the town to the mainland were severed.

A Malta-registered cargo ship is believed to have collided with the bridge early Monday morning.

Local Game Meats Served In Western Japan

Local game meats served in western Japan

Meat lovers have flocked to an event promoting wild game dishes made from locally hunted deer and boar in Kochi Prefecture, western Japan.

Fifteen restaurants and groups set up booths at a venue in the town of Otoyo on Monday, a national holiday.

Typhoon Kong-rey Approaches Western Japan

Typhoon Kong-rey approaches western Japan

Typhoon Kong-rey is moving north. It will likely approach southwestern Japan at around noon on Saturday, local time. Weather forecasters are warning people to be prepared for strong winds and high waves.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says that as of 6 AM, the typhoon was over waters about 170 kilometers west-northwest of Goto city, Nagasaki Prefecture. The storm is moving north-north-east at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour.

Emperor, Empress Visit Rain-hit Western Japan

Emperor, Empress visit rain-hit western Japan

Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have visited 2 prefectures in western Japan that were hit hard by record rainfall in July.

The couple flew into Matsuyama Airport in Ehime Prefecture shortly before noon on Friday and changed to a Self-Defense Forces helicopter to visit Seiyo City, where 5 people died in the disaster.

One Week After Typhoon Jebi Hit Western Japan

One week after Typhoon Jebi hit western Japan

Residents in western Japan are taking steps to rebuild their lives one week after Typhoon Jebi devastated the region.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency says that 9 people were killed and 514 injured across 6 prefectures in the Kansai region after the typhoon made landfall last Tuesday.

Jebi Makes Landfall In Western Japan

Jebi makes landfall in western Japan

Typhoon Jebi has just made landfall in Tokushima prefecture. The Meteorological Agency says the last time a Typhoon hit with this level of very strong intensity was 25 years ago. Evacuation advisories are in place in wide areas. There are also cancellations and delays to public transportation.

The wind has already caused some damage. There is a report of an overturned truck and also of debris flying around.