Japan: Snow and cold disrupt transport, at least one dead

TOKYO (Reuters) – Heavy snowfall battered Japan on Wednesday, paralyzing transport and killing at least one person.

An exceptionally cold weather front and extreme low pressure systems brought snowfall and strong winds as early as Tuesday.

One person was killed in the storm and investigations were underway Wednesday morning to determine the causes of two other deaths, Japanese Prime Minister’s Office Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said. No other details were immediately known.

More than 300 flights have been canceled and rail transport interrupted or delayed in northern Japan, Japanese media reported.

Cars and trucks were stuck on a highway in the center of the country due to snow, national broadcaster NHK said.

The Hong Kong-flagged freighter Jintian sank overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday off the southwest coast of Japan due to high winds.

Thirteen crew members were rescued by the Japanese Coast Guard and a search was underway for the remaining nine still missing.

(Report Kaori Kaneko and Elaine Lies; French version Camille Raynaud)

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