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Japan PM visits storm-hit areas, royal parade may be delayed

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting towns devasted by the deadly typhoon to meet residents to assess damage and their needs. Rescue and relief efforts for stranded or missing people in flooded mountain villages continued Thursday, as the death toll climbed.

NHK television counted 77 killed, while the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 65 were pronounced dead. Reports say Abe's government, in an attempt to focus on disaster response, is considering postponing a royal parade to celebrate Emperor Naruhito's enthronement on Tuesday.

Typhoon Hagibis hit northern and central Japan last weekend with historic rainfall that caused rivers to overflow and left thousands of homes flooded, damaged or without power. Fukushima prefecture, struck in the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster, was among the hardest-hit by the typhoon.

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