Japan PM cancels overseas trip as rain toll hits 100: local media

Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has cancelled a four-country foreign trip as the death toll from flooding and landslides caused by record rains hit 100, local media said Monday. Abe had been expected to visit Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt from Wednesday. His office declined to comment on the reports.

Abe reportedly told the deputy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that he had “no choice but to cancel” as the disaster continues to unfold, Kyodo news agency said. Public broadcaster NHK and several other media also reported the trip had been cancelled because of the crisis.

Abe is now expected to visit some of the areas worst affected by the flash flooding and landslides as early as Wednesday, the reports said.

He had been due to start the trip in Belgium on Wednesday, where he was to sign a massive free trade agreement with the European Union.