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Earthquake and typhoon expose Japan's disaster risks

Hokkaido's reliance on one power plant causes first grid-wide blackout

The Hokkaido earthquake disrupted air travel in Japan as far away as Tokyo's Haneda airport, where travelers sought help rescheduling flights.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- The deadly earthquake that shook northern Japan early Thursday, just two days after a typhoon ravaged the west of the country, highlighted the risks that natural disasters pose for the country's economy.

As was the case in the Osaka region after Typhoon Jebi flooded Kansai International Airport, the country's main gateway for Asian tourists, Thursday's earthquake paralyzed broad swathes of Hokkaido's economy.

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