UPDATE - At Least One Person Killed In Japan By Heavy Snowfalls - Chief Cabinet Secretary

TOKYO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 25th January, 2023) Heavy snowfalls that hit Japan on Wednesday morning have resulted in the death of at least one and supposedly killed two other citizens, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Wednesday.

"According to the reports, at least one person has died as a result of snowfalls. It is also being investigated whether the deaths of two more people were caused by snowfalls. Receiving data on those injured," Matsuno told a press conference.

At least 400 domestic flights were canceled in Japan due to heavy snowfall, including 177 flights operated by the Japan Airlines and 111 flights of the All Nippon Airways, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

In addition, the bad weather caused traffic jams stretching from 14 to 30 miles in Japanese prefectures of Shiga and Kyoto and between Mie and Hyogo, Japanese news portal MBS reported. Some drivers have been reportedly stuck in the traffic jams for more than 10 hours already.

Japanese media reported earlier in the day that at least 13 people have been hospitalized after spending up to 10 hours on trains that had been blocked by heavy snowfalls between the city of Kyoto in Kyoto Prefecture and the Biwako station in Shiga Prefecture. The Kyodo news agency reported that about 100 vehicles had been blocked on a highway near the town of Tarami in Japan's Nagasaki Prefecture.

According to the media, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways were planning to cancel over 200 flights on Wednesday, and East Japan Railway was set to suspend bullet train service between Fukushima and Shinjo.

A cold front hit Japan earlier this week, bringing heavy snowfalls and temperatures below freezing. The temperature in the town of Rikubetsu on Hokkaido Island on Wednesday morning fell to minus 26.9 degrees Celsius (-16.4 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature in Tokyo was minus 3 degrees Celsius, while the temperature in Osaka was 2 degrees Celsius below zero. Up to 88 centimeters (34 inches) of snow fell overnight in several regions.