Heavy rainfall is lashing a wide area from western to northeastern Japan.
Weather officials say warm, damp air is moving into a rain front over Japan's main island, while a cold air mass is hovering over the country. They say this has destabilized the atmospheric conditions.
94 millimeters of rain was recorded in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, during the 1-hour period until around 8 AM on Monday.
Radar images show up to 110 millimeters of rain per hour fell in Kagoshima Prefecture at around the same time.
Japan put its military on alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, ordering naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile Patriot batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan. (Japan Today)
The Japanese government said on Monday it was doing all it could to secure the release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, after an apparent photograph of the man was posted on the Internet. (Japan Today)
Fukuoka Prefectural Police are investigating a 29-year-old female sex worker already in custody for attempted murder in a separate case in which an acquaintance fell to her death from a bridge, reports the Sankei Shimbun. (Tokyo Reporter)
A Japanese man was arrested Wednesday in Thailand on suspicion of raping and sexually harassing a number boys aged between 13 and 15 in the country's northern province of Chiang Mai, investigators said. (Japan Times)
A panel of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department came up with a report on Wednesday calling for legal regulations on the so-called JK business, in which high school girls offer such services as massage and dating. (Jiji Press)