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Powerful typhoon approaches Japan 

Tokyo, Oct 22 (IANS) A powerful typhoon was approaching the main island of Japan on Sunday where it has brought heavy rainfall and the risk of landslides on a day when the country is voting in the general election.

In southern Japan, the typhoon brought torrential rains and winds of up to 252 km per hour on Sunday morning, reported the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

The storm might make landfall on the Pacific coast of Honshu island, where Tokyo is located, on Monday morning, reports Efe news.

Japan is now in the middle of general elections to elect Parliament’s Lower House and it is feared that adverse weather conditions might negatively affect voter turnout, which during the 2014 elections had already fallen to the historic minimum of 52.6 per cent.

A polling station in Kochi prefecture on Shikoku island was forced to delay its opening by 20 minutes due to landslides that prevented poll supervisors from reaching.

The JMA on Friday made an unusual recommendation asking citizens to vote in advance fearing danger during election day on account of strong winds, rain and waves that could cause landslides and flooding of rivers.

In 1979, when a typhoon hit Tokyo – also coinciding with legislative elections – voter turnout fell to 53 per cent, 10 points less than the previous elections.

The early participation registered until Friday, in an election when Prime Shinzo Abe’s party is being projected as the favourite to win, grew 50 percent compared to the 2014 elections, according to the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. 

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