A massive winter storm was expected to dump nearly a meter of snow on some parts of Japan, snarling transport during a peak travel period over the New Year holiday when many people are on the move to be with their families.
Scores of flights were canceled, warnings were issued of possible highway closures and trains delayed by the storm Friday that caused the Japan Meteorological Agency to post a snow advisory for a large parts of the western and northern coasts.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said as much as 80 centimeters of snow was expected to fall in some northern parts of the main island of Honshu by 6 a.m. Saturday and warned of traffic disruptions in several parts of the country due to accumulated snow and frozen road surfaces.
A total of 54 domestic flights had been canceled as of about 1 p.m. Friday, affecting 5,100 passengers, ANA Holdings Inc.’s unit said in a statement. Japan Airlines said in a tweet Friday morning that its flights “may experience irregular operations,” due to the weather.
Central Japan Railway Co., which operates high-speed trains between Tokyo and Osaka, said snowfall caused some delays in service. The Tokyo region is expected to avoid the worst of the storm, but some neighboring prefectures could see as much as 70 cm of snowfall, the weather agency said.
Hundreds of thousands of people typically travel domestically for Japan’s New Year holiday, which is expected to rebound from a year ago as the country posts some of the lowest coronavirus infection numbers among developed countries.
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