Winds and rain intensifying across Japan

Japanese weather officials are urging people to be careful, as a low pressure system developing over the Sea of Japan and a weather front stretching over the Pacific are bringing heavy rain and strong winds to many parts of the country.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency says the country is being affected by the low pressure system that is moving northeast.

It is calling on people to be on the alert for stormy winds and high waves. The agency also says landslides and floods in low-lying areas could occur.

It predicts that, through Friday night, the pressure system will move to the northern part of the Sea of Japan and that the front will move to the eastern part of Japan. It says that will bring strong winds to the area.

Maximum winds of about 83 kilometers per hour are forecast for the Hokkaido, Tohoku and Kanto-Koshin regions. Gusts of around 126 kilometers per hour are expected in these areas.

Officials say atmospheric conditions are likely to become very unsteady on Friday, particularly on the Pacific side of the country. They indicate that may cause localized downpours.

In the 24 hours through Saturday morning, up to 100 millimeters of rainfall is expected in the Tokai region, 80 millimeters in the Hokkaido and Kanto-Koshin regions, and 60 millimeters in the Okinawa region.

Weather officials also say yellow sand from China's deserts is expected to blow into wide areas from northern to western Japan from Friday to Sunday.