1,600 stranded, 17 missing in Iwate after typhoon

Local authorities said that some 1,600 people in eight municipalities are stranded. The municipalities include the town of Iwaizumi, where nine bodies were found in a nursing home, with town officials saying they have lost contact with 17 residents, mostly elderly people.

Authorities are unable to approach the affected areas by road due to flooding and damage, they said, adding that members of the Self-Defense Forces and police are trying to assess the situation and mount a rescue operation, according to the prefectural government.

Since electricity and water have been cut off in Iwaizumi, the municipality decided to airlift about 30 residents in need of dialysis to hospitals in Morioka and elsewhere.

A total of 36,582 residents of 15,780 households in the town and Kuji have been advised to evacuate due to potential mudslides and other risks.

Meanwhile, police and firefighters resumed search and rescue operations for three missing people in Hokkaido, another northern Japan prefecture affected by the powerful typhoon.

About 1,600 people are stranded and 17 are unaccounted for in the northeastern prefecture of Iwate Thursday after Typhoon Lionrock battered the area Tuesday. (Japan Today)

Japan’s third-largest convenience store chain FamilyMart has merged with major retailer UNY Group Holdings under a new company. (NHK)

The Japanese government plans to allow foreign students of Japanese universities to stay in the country for up to two years after graduation, up from the current limit of one year, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.2 has hit Kumamoto Prefecture in southern Japan. (NHK)

Police have arrested four men over the robbery of a Pizza Hut delivery store in Tokyo in May. One of the suspects is also the store manager. (Japan Today)

A U.S. Marine has been arrested in Okinawa Prefecture on suspicion of attempting to enter a woman’s residence, local police said Wednesday. (Japan Times)

For generations, artisans and merchants in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto lived in thousands of traditional “machiya” townhouses that are steadily disappearing or falling into disrepair. (Japan Today)

A group of researchers says the risk of lung cancer from secondhand smoke exposure has been confirmed among Japanese for the first time. They’ve called for a ban on smoking at indoor public spaces in Japan. (NHK)

Executives at Japan’s top oil wholesaler JX Holdings and third-ranked TonenGeneral Sekiyu have agreed to integrate their businesses. (NHK)

Yes, Japan has a desert compete with camels, sane dunes and … a world class art museum with sand sculptures! This time, John heads to this barren wasteland devoid of vending machines for a taste of the Sahara – in Japan. (ONLY in JAPAN)

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