Powerful typhoon kills two, snarls transport for thousands in Japan

Pedestrians carry a bag as they walk against a strong wind after Typhoon Trami hit the city of Kagoshima on Kyushu island on September 30, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2018
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Powerful typhoon kills two, snarls transport for thousands in Japan

  • Aerial footage on NHK showed hundreds of people waiting outside train stations, with several major commuter lines closed since Sunday

TOKYO: A powerful typhoon brought down trees onto railroad tracks and kicked up debris across Tokyo as it brushed past the Japanese capital early on Monday, killing two people and stranding thousands as train lines were closed or severely delayed.
Typhoon Trami made landfall in western Japan on Sunday evening and threatened heavy rains, strong winds and landslides on the northern-most main island of Hokkaido, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The island was hit by a deadly earthquake last month.
The typhoon, rated by Tropical Storm Risk as a category 1, the lowest on a five-point scale, killed two people and injured almost 130, public broadcaster NHK said.
Another two people were missing, it said, and almost 400,000 households were without power.
Aerial footage on NHK showed hundreds of people waiting outside train stations, with several major commuter lines closed since Sunday. More than 230 flights were canceled, mainly in northern Japan, NHK said.
Kansai International Airport in Osaka in western Japan said it had opened its runways as scheduled at 6 a.m. (2100 GMT Sunday), after being closed since 11 a.m. on Sunday.
The airport had only fully reopened on Sept. 21 after being heavily flooded earlier that month by Typhoon Jebi, the most powerful storm to hit Japan in 25 years.


Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

Updated 26 June 2019
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Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

  • But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues
  • The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to reduce heightened trade tension with India on Wednesday, promising a renewed focus on negotiating improved trade and investment ties between the two nations.
But Pompeo, on a visit to India, gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues ranging from access to Indian markets for leading American companies to New Delhi’s demands for foreign firms to store Indian data in the country, and exports of steel and aluminum to the United States.
The two nations are “friends who can help each other all around the world,” Pompeo told a joint news conference with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar after they met.
The current differences were expressed “in the spirit of friendship,” he added.
The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance.
In particular, the sudden introduction of new e-commerce rules for foreign investors in February angered the Americans because it showed New Delhi was prepared to move the goalposts to hurt two of the largest US companies, discount retailer Walmart, and Amazon.com Inc.
Walmart last year invested $16 billion to buy control of Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Just days before Pompeo’s visit, India slapped higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.
Jaishankar, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, played down the spat on Wednesday.
“If you trade with someone and they are your biggest trading partner, it is impossible you don’t have trade issues,” he said.
India’s ties with Russia and Iran, both now subject to US sanctions, are also a sore point.
US pressure has led India to stop buying oil from Iran, a top energy supplier. The United States has also stepped up pressure on India not to proceed with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
The missile deal and Iranian oil were both discussed during their meeting, Jaishankar and Pompeo said, but mentioned no resolution of either at the news conference.
Earlier, Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talks at his official residence in the capital, New Delhi, and they exchanged handshakes in images broadcast on television.
“The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieve the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defense, counterterrorism and people-to-people contacts,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.
Pompeo is expected to round off the trip with a policy speech hosted by the US embassy, before departing on Thursday for a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 nations in Japan.