Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday suggested Russia and Japan sign a peace deal ‘without any preconditions’ by the end of the year to try to solve a long-running territorial dispute.
Shinzo Abe toured the city and commercial hub of Sapporo, where Thursday's 6.6-magnitude jolt has left houses tilted and roads cracked.
The majority of the dead are from the small rural town of Atsuma, where a cluster of dwellings were wrecked when a hillside collapsed from the force of the earthquake.
Japanese rescue workers with bulldozers and sniffer dogs scrabbled through the mud Friday to find survivors from a landslide that buried houses after a powerful quake, as the death toll rose to 18.
Japan scrambled Wednesday to evacuate passengers trapped at a major airport when a tanker slammed into its only access bridge during the most powerful typhoon to hit the country for 25 years.
Japan issued evacuation advisories for more than a million people and cancelled hundreds of flights as Typhoon Jebi sliced across the west on Tuesday, killing at least six people.
Japan's major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude oil imports from Iran in October, amid fears Washington will sanction countries importing Iranian crude, local media reported.