than 900 flights have been canceled and train operators warned of major
disruptions as the country braces for a powerful typhoon that is forecast to
pass close to eastern Honshu on Saturday.
As of 9 a.m. Friday the large and violent Typhoon Hagibis, currently located about 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Chichijima, in the Ogasawara Islands, was moving north-northwest at 25 kph (15 mph). It was packing winds of up to 252 kph (157 mph), and could make landfall around Tokyo on Saturday.
The Meteorological Agency warned Friday that houses could collapse if strong winds of up to 216 kph (135 mph) buffet the Tokai region and the Kanto-Koshin area, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, on Saturday.
Local authorities are also on alert for possible flooding because the storm could make landfall at the same time as it is high tide in Tokyo Bay. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested his Cabinet to take all measures to prepare for the typhoon.
The typhoon, which was downgraded to Category 4 on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale used in the U.S., has also forced organizers of the Rugby World Cup to cancel two games scheduled for Saturday.