Bloomberg News

U.S. Navy Downgrades Ma-on as Storm Bears Down on Southern Japan

July 19, 2011

July 20 (Bloomberg) -- Typhoon Ma-on weakened to a tropical storm as it moved on a course that will take it over central Japan today, passing south of Tokyo before heading out to sea, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.

The storm was about about 550 kilometers (340 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 12:50 a.m. local time today, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website. Ma-on was moving north-northeast at 10 kilometers per hour with winds blowing at 139 kilometers per hour, the agency said.

The storm may reach Wakayama prefecture in central Japan this morning and be west of Hachijo island, 290 kilometers south of Tokyo by midnight before continuing out to sea, the agency said.

An earlier forecast indicated the storm may pass over Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant by July 21. The JMA maintained warnings for heavy rains and landslides for Tokyo and Fukushima 220 kilometers to the north, it said on the website.

Japan Airlines Co. canceled 93 domestic and four international flights, while All Nippon Airways Co. halted 218 flights in Japan, the carriers said in faxed statements yesterday.

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. halted the berthing of vessels at five refineries in eastern and western Japan, the company said yesterday. Idemitsu Kosan Co. halted shipments at two refineries because of the storm, chemicals news service ICIS reported.

--With assistance from Kana Nishizawa and Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo and Alex Devine in London. Editors: Alex Devine, Tony Barrett

To contact the reporter on this story: Akiko Nishimae in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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