• Kyodo News

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Temperatures rose to the highest levels ever for March at 12 locations across Japan Thursday as warm air flowed in from the south into a low-pressure system over the Sea of Japan, the Meteorological Agency said.

Central Tokyo was the first area in Japan to see cherry blossoms in full bloom Thursday, six days earlier than usual.

Temperatures reached 26.2 in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, 25.7 in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, 25.2 in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, and 23.4 in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture — all early-July levels.

Seven other points that saw the mercury hit the highest level for March were Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, Tokyo’s Shinkiba district and Haneda airport, Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture, Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture, Kudamatsu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Hondo in Kumamoto Prefecture. These records include tying previous ones.

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