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Snowstorm warning issued for northern Japan, flights disrupted.

TOKYO, Dec. 26 Kyodo

Snowstorm warnings were issued Friday for areas in northern Japan and central Japan facing the Sea of Japan, while dozens of flights have been canceled to and from cities in Hokkaido.

The Japan Meteorological Agency is warning of heavy snow, high waves and avalanches, as well as lightning and gusts, given an unstable air mass condition.

In the 24 hours until 9:30 a.m. Friday, 54 centimeters of snow fell in Hinoemata, Fukushima Prefecture, 49 cm in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture, and 38 cm in Hida, Gifu Prefecture.

The Hokuriku region on the Sea of Japan coast may see snow of up to 80 cm in the 24 hours by Saturday morning and 70 cm in the Tohoku region on the Sea of Japan coast, the agency said.

The northern Kanto and northern Koshin regions are expected to see 50 cm of snow, and Hokkaido and Gifu prefectures 40 cm.

Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) said 34 train services including those linking Sapporo city and New Chitose Airport were suspended as of 9:30 a.m.

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they have decided to cancel a total of 56 flights including those linking Tokyo's Haneda airport and New Chitose, serving Sapporo.

Highways in Hokkaido have also been closed to traffic.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Dec 29, 2008
Words:217
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