Downpours forecast from central to eastern Japan, Tokaido bullet train suspended

Weather officials are forecasting heavy rainfall in central to eastern Japan and the Okinawa-Amami region until Wednesday. Bullet train services have been temporarily suspended on some stretches of the Tokaido Shinkansen.

The Japan Meteorological Agency says warm humid air is flowing toward a front accompanied by a low pressure system off the southern coast of western to eastern Japan. Officials say this is making atmospheric conditions extremely unstable from the Kinki to the Kanto regions.

Rain clouds have developed and brought localized downpours from Kinki to Kanto. Officials say heavy rain with lightning is expected in Kinki until late Tuesday afternoon and from Tokai to Kanto-Koshin until Tuesday night.

The agency says the heavy rain has considerably heightened the risks of landslides in some areas of Okinawa and Shizuoka.

In the 24 hours until Wednesday noon, up to 150 millimeters of rainfall are forecast in Tokai, 120 millimeters in Kanto-Koshin and 100 millimeters in Okinawa and Amami.

The agency is warning of landslides, flooding of low-lying areas, swollen rivers, lightning, gusts of winds, tornadoes and hail. It is also calling on people to take precautionary measures and move into sturdy buildings if there are any signs of thunderclouds approaching.

Central Japan Railway briefly suspended services on the Tokaido Shinkansen due to heavy rain, but has currently resumed operations.

It is asking passengers to check the latest information on its website.