NASA handout shows MODIS image of Typhoon Vongfong in the Pacific Ocean as it approaches Japan's main islands on its northward journeyJapan was bracing on Friday for its strongest storm this year, a super typhoon powering north toward the Okinawa island chain that threatens to rake a wide swathe of the nation with strong winds and torrential rain. Typhoon Vongfong, which at one point rivaled last year’s devastating Haiyan in strength, was weakening slightly as it moved across the open ocean, but still packed winds gusting as high as 259 kph (160 mph). “There is no question that it is an extremely large, extremely powerful typhoon,” said an official at Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA). “It’s the strongest storm we’ve had this year, definitely, although it has lost some strength from its peak.” More