#PrayForJapan, meanwhile, is trending on Twitter in the UAE on Saturday, with more than 700,000 tweets.
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Rated “large and very strong”, the storm has also forced the cancellation of two Rugby World Cup matches, disrupted the Japanese Grand Prix and grounded more than 1,600 flights.
It is forecast to crash into land in central or eastern Japan early Saturday evening, packing maximum gusts of 216 kilometres per hour (134 miles per hour) Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.
But hours before the worst of the storm arrived, its outer bands claimed a first casualty in Chiba, east of Tokyo, which was also badly hit by a powerful typhoon last month.
“A 49-year-old man was found in a toppled mini truck. He was sent to hospital but confirmed dead,” Hiroki Yashiro, a spokesman at Ichihara Fire Department, in Chiba, told AFP.
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