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TOKYO, July 7, 2018 (News Wires) - Authorities in Japan said that as of 5:00 pm on Saturday, 38 people are dead and four others were found unconscious. At least 50 remain missing, Japanese NHK broadcasting reported.

Hiroshima prefecture was the hardest hit with 21 people reported dead so far and 23 missing. Up to 12 were killed in Ehime prefecture and nine are reported missing. Individual fatalities were reported in Okayama, Hyogo, Kyoto, Shiga, and Fukuoka prefectures.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed members of his cabinet to work with local authorities to prevent the spread of damage from heavy rain.

Abe ordered all-out rescue efforts by emergency crews.

WARSAW, Poland, July 6, 2018 (News Wires) - The foreign ministers of Poland and Japan say they will cooperate closely in the UN Security Council and at the European Union level to strengthen security in their regions.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono held talks Friday with Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz on global security and on intensifying cooperation in trade, business and science.

As Poland is now a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Kono said they will be appealing to North Korea to abide by the council's resolutions and do away with its weapons of mass destruction.

Czaputowicz said EU member Poland wants to play a role in bringing Japan closer to the 28-nation bloc, including at next week's Japan-EU summit in Brussels.

Kono said he has warm memories from his days studying in Warsaw






TOKYO, July 6, 2018 (MENA) - Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono took part, as a guest of honor representing the Japanese government, in a celebration held by the Egyptian embassy in Tokyo to mark the anniversary of the July 23 Revolution.

Addressing the celebration, Egypt's Ambassador to Japan Ayman Kamel reviewed positive developments realized in Egypt after the success of the political leaderships to restore political stability and security.

Ambassador Kamel, meanwhile, welcomed the anticipated visit of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Egypt this month, saying that it would contribute to boosting relations in all fields.

Kamel further hailed Japan's decision to reduce the level of travel instructions to Egypt.

The Japanese foreign minister, for his part, hailed Egyptian-Japanese relations and pointed out to his country's keenness on maintaining coordination with Egypt.

Minister Taro invited Al Azhar Grand Imam to visit Tokyo this year for talks on tolerance and fighting extremism.


TOKYO, July 5, 2018 (News Wires) - Japan on Thursday ordered the evacuation of thousands of residents from the outskirts of its ancient capital of Kyoto after “historic” rains battered its western region, killing a man, with yet more rain forecast.

About 160,000 people were advised to evacuate across the region as weather officials warned that rain levels they described as “historic” could continue until Sunday.

“Severe caution is needed,” an official of Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) told a news conference, warning of the potential for landslides and high winds.

A 59-year-old construction worker died in the western prefecture of Hyogo after being sucked into a drainage pipe, and two more were injured as they rushed to his rescue, NHK national television said.

Evacuation orders went out in some outlying parts of Kyoto, with the Kyodo news agency saying about 16,000 people were affected. Television broadcast images of the swollen waters of the Kamo River in the city centre.

The heavy rains were brought by a rush of humid air from the south and the remnants of a typhoon this week.

By Thursday afternoon, rainfall of about 457 mm (18 inches) had been recorded in some parts of the smallest main island of Shikoku over the last two days, with up to 400 mm (16 inches) more predicted in some areas in the next 24 hours.

Typhoon Prapiroon churned up the Sea of Japan this week before weakening into a tropical depression. Another storm, Typhoon Maria, has formed in the Pacific and is set to strengthen, possibly targeting the southwestern islands of Okinawa early next week.

CAIRO, July 3, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian House of Representatives approved during a session on Tuesday under speaker Ali Abdel Aal two presidential decrees on two agreements with Japan and the United States.

The house approved decree no. 226 of 2018 on letters exchanged between Egypt and Japan on a loan estimated at 18.626 billion Japanese yens offered by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Egyptian government and signed on February 21, 2018.

The approval came after discussing a report prepared by a joint committee from the ministries of education and scientific research and the committees of foreign relations and economic affairs of the parliament, which affirmed that the Japanese loan aims at implementing the Egyptian-Japanese partnership in the education domain.

The House also approved presidential decree 174 of 2018 on a US grant to Egypt to improve health services, signed on September 26, 2017.

The approval came after discussing a report prepared by the parliament's committees of health, economic, planning affairs.


KAZAN, Russia, July 3, 2018 (News Wires) - Changing coaches on the eve of the World Cup can be fraught with danger. Just look at Spain.

For Japan, the decision to sack Vahid Halilhodzic just two months before the World Cup appears to have been justified despite the team's last-minute defeat to Belgium in the round of 16 Monday night.

Japan was leading 2-0 early in the second half in Rostov-On-Don before Belgium came back to win 3-2 with a scintillating counterattack in the last seconds of injury time.

It was a cruel blow for Japan, which appeared to have taken control of the match through goals from Genki Haraguchi and Takashi Inui.
"Devastating," was how coach Akira Nishino described the loss.

The shock of the defeat - the first time a team has lost a World Cup knockout match outright after leading by two goals since West Germany defeated England 3-2 in a 1970 quarterfinal - will clearly take some time to come to terms with.

But Japan can take immense pride from its performance both in the Belgium match and in the tournament as a whole.

Four years after a hugely disappointing campaign in Brazil, Japan entered the World Cup as one of the lowest-ranked sides. Few expected the Blue Samurai to get out of their group, not least because of the change at the top.

But following victory over Colombia and a draw with Senegal, Japan advanced from its group despite a 1-0 defeat to Poland in its final group match. Admittedly, its progress was down to the fact that it received fewer yellow cards than Senegal after the teams could not be separated on points, goal difference or goals scored.

Still, it was a triumph of sorts for a team that had been fairly uninspiring during Asian qualifying. Fans across Japan had grown pessimistic about the team's prospects in the World Cup and bemoaned its habit of grinding out results.

Japanese soccer can be joyous and free-flowing, but the team's performances in the run-up to the World Cup were stilted and cause for concern. A 4-1 defeat to South Korea was followed by a 1-1 draw against Mali, and subsequently a 2-1 loss to Ukraine.

During that run, it was clear that relations between the Bosnian coach Halilhodzic and the players had deteriorated, and the Japanese Football Association made the decision to replace the coach in order to foster unity ahead of the World Cup.

Halilhodzic had tried to turn a Japanese team with a fluid passing tradition into a counterattacking unit. He also, to the consternation of many in Japan, dropped three leading players at times: Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa and Shinji Okazaki.

Nishino, who was the JFA's technical director, was given the task of rebuilding trust in the Japan camp, and the team's performances in Russia show that the players responded positively.

Nishino paid tribute to his predecessor, arguing that Halilhodzic had "nurtured this team." Though Nishino said he kept the core of Halilhodzic's tactics, he wanted to "add something."

That something was fairly clear in Russia. Japan played with a more attacking identity and a lot more freedom. Nishino encouraged his players to express themselves without fear of failure.

Although he instructed his team to "stay put" and play passively in the closing minutes against Poland because a 1-0 loss would be good enough to advance, he said the strategy was "regrettable" and pledged to return to an aggressive style.

He kept his word against Belgium. Even after Belgium equalized, Japan kept trying to win instead of playing for extra time or a penalty shootout - the fallback tactic for World Cup underdogs that Russia executed successfully against Spain.

The risky approach may have ultimately cost Nishino's team in the final seconds. With the clock ticking toward extra time, Japan looked to score from a corner, but Belgium had other ideas, catching Japan off guard with a 10-second counterattack that culminated with Nacer Chadli's winner.

"I think it was me who might have lost control of the game," the 63-year-old Nishino said. "When the goal was conceded, I blamed myself, and I question my tactics."

Few in Japan are likely to blame Nishino for what was a thrilling, and wholly unexpected, World Cup ride.

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