Strong typhoon nears southern Japan on eve of election

A man walks past electoral posters of Japanese candidates for the upcoming general election in Koshigaya city, Saitama prefecture, on Oct 20, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (Reuters) - Heavy rain and powerful winds are expected to lash large areas of Japan on Sunday (Oct 22) as a strong typhoon sweeps ashore, possibly hindering voter turnout in a national election.

Typhoon Lan was classified as an intense Category 4 storm on Saturday (Oct21), with winds of up to 250 kmph, according to the Tropical Storm Risk web site.

By midday, it was south of South Borodino Island, east of Okinawa, and moving northeast at 15 kph, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

It is expected to weaken to a Category 1 typhoon as it nears the Tokyo metropolitan area on Monday morning, Tropical Storm Risk said.

Authorities in Okinawa and Hyogo prefectures have moved voting ahead a day for some remote islands as the storm neared, media said.

Saturday marked the last day of campaigning for the parliament's lower house seats, and bad weather could deter some voters.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition is on track to roughly match the two-thirds"super majority" it held in parliament's lower house before dissolution, helped by divisions in the opposition camp and jitters over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, media forecasts have said.

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