• Kyodo

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The rainy season appears to have started in wide swaths of eastern, central and western Japan, the weather agency said Wednesday, warning of downpours and natural disasters during the roughly six-week period.

The latest announcement by the Japan Meteorological Agency covers the Chugoku, Kinki, Tokai and Kanto-Koshin regions of Honshu Island as well as Shikoku, another main island of the country.

The agency had earlier said the rainy season was believed to have begun in the rest of southwestern Japan, including Kyushu and Okinawa, meaning that roughly the entire southern half of the country has now entered the rainy season.

Rainy and cloudy weather of the early summer season usually continues until mid — to late July in most regions of the country.

The rainy season was declared in Kyushu on Tuesday, and the southern island of Okinawa and Amami region in Kagoshima Prefecture on May 13. It is projected to start in the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions next week, the weather agency said.

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