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As cold air blanketed wide areas of the nation on Thursday morning, the mercury in central Tokyo fell to a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius, the capital’s lowest figure in 48 years.

The bitter cold Wednesday — coming just days after the city’s heaviest snowfall in four years — prompted the Meteorological Agency to issue a low temperature advisory for the 23 wards for the first time in over three decades. Shigeki Kawaguchi, an official of the agency’s weather consultation center, said a similar warning was last issued in late January 1985.

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