Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited an evacuation center in the city of Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture, where more than 40 of the 176 victims died. He ducked in front of an elderly woman sitting on the floor, and pledged to her that his government will do its utmost to bring back her ordinary life as soon as possible. About 200 residents were taking refuge at the shelter he visited.
Tens of thousands of rescue and recovery workers and volunteers were searching for people still missing.
The government said 176 people have been confirmed dead after the record-setting rainfall last week caused severe flooding and landslides. Most of the deaths were in Hiroshima and the surrounding area, but the damage was widespread.
The government has mobilized 75,000 troops and emergency workers and some 80 helicopters for the search and rescue effort, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Abe canceled a planned trip to Europe and the Middle East this week to oversee the emergency response.