JAPANESE prime minister Shinzo Abe is visiting areas of south-west Japan hard-hit by floods after he cut short his trip to Europe.

Abe arrived on Japan’s southern-most main island of Kyushu yesterday. He will go to the cities of Hita in Oita prefecture and Asakura and Toho in Fukuoka prefecture.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency has confirmed 25 deaths so far, 22 in Fukuoka and three in Oita, after heavy rain caused widespread flooding.