Yellow sand swept up from mainland China has begun to cover areas from Hokkaido to northern Kyushu, with both the weather agency and environment ministry urging residents to exercise caution.

If yellow sand is observed in Tokyo, it would be the capital’s first in 16 years for the month of April. The last time yellow sand was observed in Tokyo was in May 2021, the weather agency said.

According to the Meteorological Agency, dust and sandstorms carrying yellow sand are expected to affect a wide area of northern and western Japan from Wednesday until Thursday morning.