Heavy rain forecast across eastern, western Japan

Heavy rain is forecast across wide areas of western and eastern Japan over the weekend. Authorities urge people to stay alert for landslides and flooding.

The Meteorological Agency says a seasonal rain front and low-pressure system are expected to move north through Sunday, raising the risk of downpours and thunder.

For the 24-hour period through Sunday morning, up to 200 millimeters of rain is forecast in northern Kyushu, 150 millimeters in southern Kyushu, 120 millimeters in the Chugoku region and 100 millimeters in the Kinki and Shikoku regions.

Weather officials say heavy rain is also likely on Sunday in the Hokuriku region, where a massive earthquake struck on New Year's Day.

Authorities say the disaster has loosened the ground, and even a small amount of rain could trigger landslides.