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Japan PM visits disaster-hit regions

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 20:12

Tokyo: Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday visited disaster-hit parts of southwest Japan where torrential rain triggered scores of landslides and floods that have killed at least 28 people since last week.
"There are things that the prefecture, the city and the
state can do," said Aso in the city of Hofu, Yamaguchi
prefecture, where a landslide buried the ground floor of a
nursing home and killed seven inhabitants.

"I want to do as much as I can to enable people to return
to their normal living conditions," Aso told reporters.

Aso -- who lags behind in polls ahead of national
elections on August 30 -- had originally planned a helicopter
inspection and a visit to Hofu on Sunday but cancelled due to
bad weather.

Torrential rains have pounded the western Chugoku and
southern Kyushu regions since last week, with three people
still missing, local authorities said.

The latest confirmed fatality was a 34-year-old woman,
who had gone missing along with her mother when a mudslide hit
their home in southern Fukuoka prefecture, a local police
officer said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 - 20:12
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