Abe visits typhoon-hit areas; emperor's parade to be postponed until Nov 10

By Elaine Lies

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited communities on Thursday that were hit by a powerful typhoon, while the government said it was postponing a parade for Emperor Naruhito's formal enthronement next week because of the disaster.

Typhoon Hagibis killed at least 77 people last week when it lashed wide swathes of Japan with heavy rain and powerful wind, setting off landslides and widespread flooding as rivers burst their banks. Nine people are missing and 346 were injured.

"We'll do everything possible to restore your lives," Abe told two elderly women at an evacuation center in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, getting down on his knees to talk to them as they sat on blankets on the floor.

Abe visited Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, which suffered heavy damage in the storm. Both were also hard hit by a tsunami set off by a March 11, 2011, earthquake, which triggered a meltdown at a nuclear power station in Fukushima.

Fukushima has seen the highest number of casualties from the typhoon, with at least 28 dead as of Thursday.

Abe said the government would spend 710 million yen to help with disaster relief.

Finance Minister Taro Aso has said the government had 500 billion yen in reserves for disaster recovery and would consider an extra budget if needed.

With winter approaching and some parts of Fukushima seeing below-average temperatures, concern is rising about the health of people in evacuation centers, some of whom lost everything in the floods.

The Ministry of Land and Transportation said on Thursday that levees had broken in more than 100 places, and authorities warned that with heavy rains forecast for the weekend, more flooding could occur.

The government will postpone the parade celebrating the emperor's Oct 22 enthronement, said Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary, at a news conference, adding that new dates were still being considered.

Other events connected with the enthronement will proceed as scheduled, he added.

"We are looking into new dates after considering a number of issues," Suga said. He declined to be more specific, but national broadcaster NHK said the parade would be rescheduled to Nov 10. Emperor Naruhito is set to proclaim his enthronement in a centuries-old ceremony attended by some 2,500 people, including heads of state and other dignitaries from nearly 200 countries.

The emperor, 59, acceded to the throne in May after his father, Akihito, became the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries.

© Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Don't fall for these manipulative photos Japan. What's this man done for you recently? He smells a photo op to boost his image and he's there in a flash, what about trying to ease tensions with SK, reforming the pension scam and getting elderly drivers off our roads?

6 ( +20 / -14 )

Another PR gig for the man!

Words don't count (or very little only).

Show us some action - not just promises and arrows that never hit the target!

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Why postpone the parade? If ever there was a time the people needed a symbol of hope and someone they can look up to, it's now. How about having a parade with a little less pomp and ceremony in the affected areas and have the Emperor and Empress reach out to the victims?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Guys, stop it. He's doing his job as a prime minister. If he had not shown up, you'd be blasting him for showing a lack of sympathy. Some people can do no right.

5 ( +19 / -14 )

PR stunt or not. That is what most leaders do. Still, it's better that he visits than not visit. Do you really think most leaders visit disaster sites because they want to?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

This is no doubt one of politician behaviors to win next general election.

1 ( +4 / -3 )


0 ( +4 / -4 )

"Oi camera dude, did you get a good shot of that?"

"Now get me outta here at light speed"

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Don't think it is a good idea as dignitaries have been invited

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was this before or after his Yasukuni offering?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

We'd better still get the day off. I've got a fridge full of beer to shift.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If he was sincere he'd have, food and other goodies with him and a bag of cash to shell out.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

It's also because one of his dippity ministers said that this typhoon's damage was "ma ma". This is all damage control for Abe.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

One vote per handshake I guess. Abe never underestimates the power of handshakes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

If Abe says "We'll do everything possible to restore your lives," he should have handed a stack of ¥ right there, and said, this is to rebuild your home. Actions speak louder than words.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Make Nippon Great Again!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Really can't see the point in postponing the ceremony.

might even cheer up some oldies.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The elderly woman in the picture seems incredibly grateful and emotional. I hope and pray those in need receive the aid they need, after this once in 60 years disaster.

Thank-you PM Abe, THANK-YOU!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

IT is time to practice some real work.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

oyatoi - Make Nippon Great Again

I’m afraid that time has come and gone. Japan has been in a downward spiral for the last twenty years and it is getting worse. This is due to limelight sucking leaders like the joker in the blue overalls in the above photo who still have their minds stuck in the 80’s and are afraid to make the radical changes needed to bring Japan out of the economic and society slump it has been in for the last two decades.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Dont politicians realize how off-putting those fake staged photos are? Why pretend that Abe actually personally spent time talking to victims or even should do so? Any why does he need to put on that uniform for a photo op?

What is wrong with just a public statement expressing his concern and laying out policy?

This PR nonsense is so cheap.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The Japanese people, who are also the voters, expect the PM and emperor to visit major disaster areas.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

nice act of kindness from the Prime Minister

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A picture is worth a thousand votes

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Fake gesture from a fake leader.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The contrasts between the above photo and what trump would do in the same situation.


trump would not be able to kneel down to clasp a victims hand UNLESS the victim was handing over cash to trump.

trump would deem this action as un-dignified.

Abe san displays compassion, remorse and dignity. We are lucky to have such a person as Prime Minister.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Guys, stop it. He's doing his job as a prime minister. If he had not shown up, you'd be blasting him for showing a lack of sympathy. Some people can do no right.


Well said. Regardless what the guy says or does people complain. Plenty of time later for that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe visits typhoon-hit areas;

Haven't those poor people suffered enough??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do you think that Donald Trump would get down on his knees and comfort an elderly woman?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't understand how postponing the parade will help those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged. However, they do forecast rain for next Tuesday so that probably has something to do with it.

I'm wondering why the emperor hasn't been out visiting people in shelters yet? Too busy practicing sitting on a throne?

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Donald Trump would get down on his knees and comfort an elderly woman?

Did Abe get down on his knees and comfort an elderly woman? Or did he pose for a photoshoot with a gaggle of press photographers and then was out of there?


I'm wondering why the emperor hasn't been out visiting people in shelters yet?

People in shelters need practical help, not the Imperial Household agency invading the shelter with dozens of security and protocol guys and photographers. Sheesh.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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