Japan

Super Typhoon leaves CNMI unscathed, heads for Japan

Hagibis intensified unusually fast, going from tropical storm to super typhoon in just 18 hours.

However, no serious damage was reported in the Northern Marianas, with the storm leaving the territory last night.

Government offices and some schools reopened today, RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Saipan Mark Rabago said.

"Thankfully, the CNMI was left relatively unscathed by that Super Typhoon. Thank God that except for some banana trees and small trees, we didn't get much damage."

World Cup highlights strong bond between Tonga and Japan

The day after their 23-21 loss to France, the Tongan players hit the swimming pool to recover from a match that saw scores of Japanese spectators at Kumamoto Stadium cheering on a dramatic late comeback attempt by the Pacific islanders.

While Alatini attributed some of the crowd support to solidarity among Tier 2 nations, he said it also spoke to a bond built over many years between the two countries' rugby communities.

Rugby hosts Japan stun Ireland 19-12 in massive World Cup upset

The Brave Blossoms came from behind at Shizuoka Stadium with Kenki Fukuoka's second-half try and Yu Tamura's boot beating a side recently ranked number one in the world in a shock to match their victory over twice world champions South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.

While they stunned world rugby then, to win this time in front of an uproarious home crowd with so much focus on Asia's first World Cup was arguably more significant.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Japan v Russia

The Brave Blossoms caused an almighty stir at the tournament four years ago by defeating giants South Africa 34-32 in one of the biggest shocks in the sport's history.

Agonisingly for the team, led by now England coach Eddie Jones, that effort in Brighton was not quite enough as they became the first team to be eliminated from the pool stage having won three matches.

It was Japan's best performance at a World Cup to date, but Joseph wants his side to dream big.

Japan capable of shocking Ireland, warns O'Driscoll

Tournament hosts in 2019, Japan provided one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history four years ago with a stunning last-gasp 34-32 defeat of the Springboks in their opening fixture.

The Brave Blossoms are in Ireland's pool this time and former star O'Driscoll is wary of another surprise result when they meet on September 28.

He believes the memory of that South Africa win and the backing of the home support could make Japan a dangerous opponent.

Seven Tongan players ready to represent Japan in RWC 2019

The hosts have named Asaeli Valu,  Uve Helu, Amanaki Lelei Mafi,  William Tupou,  Ataata Moeakiola, Lemeki Romano and Nakajima Isileli.

Mafi received minor injuries in their warm up match against South Africa but was given the green light for the RWC.

The powerful No.8 and and flying wing Kenki Fukuoka were both forced from the field, leaving head coach Joseph with some headaches ahead of his side's Pool A opener against Russia in Tokyo on Sept. 20.

Kiwi coaches seeking their fortunes abroad

Even Sir Graham and Hansen themselves were forced to take a pathway through Wales en route to the top NZ role.

If you're in doubt about which teams to support at the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand aren't playing, this list of Kiwi-coached sides may swing your allegiance.

Joe Schmidt (Ireland)

International teams coached: Ireland (2013-present)

International record: 50-18-1 (72.5 percent)

Tournament titles: Three (Six Nations 2014, 2015, 2018)

Deadly Tokyo typhoon leaves England stranded

It took Eddie Jones’ squad almost took as long to travel from Tokyo Airport to their hotel as their 11-hour flight from London to the Japanese capital after they were stranded at Narita Airport for six hours on Monday, according to the Daily Telegraph.

They had been assured that their flight would not experience delays despite the misfortune of the Wallabies upon their departure to Japan, with the Australians delaying their flight because of the severe weather warning.

Rugby World Cup: Fans warned of Japan's deadly brain virus

People making the trip for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan should consider getting vaccinated against it, if they plan on visiting rural parts of the country, it said.

Over 600,000 international fans are expected to visit Japan, and with just over a month to go until the tournament kicks off, campaigners are trying to raise awareness of the disease which is spread through mosquito bites.

Japanese encephalitis affects approximately 68,000 people worldwide each year, with between 13,600 to 20,400 of reported cases being fatal, according to the World Health Organization.

Tonga target Japanese pace

The Brave Blossoms opened their PNC campaign with an impressive 34-21 victory over Fiji last weekend and 'Ikale Tahi coach Toutai Kefu said the World Cup hosts could not be allowed to dictate today's game.

"Japan are a very formidable side. If they get their own way they're very hard to beat. What I was surprised at was how Fiji defended. I thought they were quite poor there. I've seen much better defence from them. They just pretty much let Japan have it their own way and play their own style," Kefu said.