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Jonathan Bradley: Japanese taking Typhoon Hagibis in their stride as Ireland prepare for crunch Samoa clash

Buildings are submerged in floodwater after heavy rain in Gangneung South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019
Buildings are submerged in floodwater after heavy rain in Gangneung South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

The differences between Ireland and Japan are obviously numerous - chief among them the weather. Or rather talking about the weather.

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Our most reliable of conversation starters isn't nearly so prevalent here. In fact, despite the low 30s degree heat and high humidity that's been a near constant of the Rugby World Cup so far, it's only been mentioned once to me by a local.

Even then I think her "very hot, yes?" was more in sympathy that anything else as I sat a sweaty mess having ill-advisedly walked up a hill for an hour in Kobe.

Other than that, all quiet on the weather front...even today.

Imagine if we had a typhoon lurking ominously off the coast of Portrush.

It would be all we talked about for days, special bulletins would be required, shops would run out of bread and milk, we'd all debate just what constitutes an unnecessary journey. Not in Japan.

Typhoon Hagibis is on its way, reportedly by tomorrow it'll be the strongest storm on earth with winds of over 157mph seeing it granted super typhoon status.

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Yet there's hardly a peep outside of those worried what it means for the World Cup. Those rather sinister storm graphics on the weather forecast given no more status than the usual sun or light cloud.

As the rain starts to come down heavily in Seoul, South Korea, just across the bay from us here in Fukuoka, there is a quickly changing picture of just where it will hit land in Japan but there seems to be a consensus on when - Saturday.

Ireland have been given every assurance that everything will be done to make sure their game against Samoa scheduled for that day will take place and that there is a contingency plan in place.

Quite what it is - whether changing the kick-off or the location - will become clear only later.

There was some panic earlier in the tournament over rules stating an abandoned pool game would be considered a 0-0 draw - obviously a disaster for Ireland here in what is a must-win to make the quarter-finals - and the USA v France game was thought to be under threat last week only for a storm to change course.

Other than that, it's business as usual.

Then again, for a country that sees 11 typhoons a year near its shores, not to mention some 1500 earthquakes, you can forgive the Japanese for not quite panicking the way we do when there's a skiffle of snow on the way.

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