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Tokyo Snow Disrupts Trains, Flights, Halts Work at Nissan

Snow in Tokyo
A couple walks with an umbrella in font of buildings as snow falls in Tokyo. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Snowfall in Tokyo disrupted train and plane services for the second time in less than a week, prompting companies like Nissan Motor Co. to ask workers at its Yokohama headquarters to head home early.

As much as 10 centimeters of snow (4 inches) is expected in the Japanese capital in the next 24 hours, with 1 centimeter having settled in the Otemachi business district as of 10 a.m., according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. About 24 centimeters of snow fell on Tokyo last weekend, the most in 45 years, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Commuter train lines in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, as well as Osaka in western Japan, were delayed this morning due to the snow, train operators said on their websites. ANA Holdings Inc. and Japan Airlines Co., the nation’s largest carriers, canceled 138 domestic flights and two international services, the carriers said separately.

Nissan asked employees at its headquarters to leave by 12:30 p.m. today and other staff in the region to exit by 3 p.m., said Chris Keeffe, a Yokohama-based spokesman.

Trains in the Tokyo area were temporarily halted on six lines, East Japan Railway Co. said on its website. Bullet train services, including trains bound for Tokyo, experienced delays of up to 50 minutes, according to Central Japan Railway Co. Trains in the Osaka region were also delayed due to the snow, West Japan Railway Co. said on its website.

The weather prompted the closure of a runway at Nagoya airport in central Japan, ANA spokeswoman Masumi Oguchi said.

ANA canceled 63 domestic flights, affecting about 9,500 passengers, spokesman Ryosei Nomura said by telephone today. JAL has canceled 75 domestic flights and two international flights from Nagoya, as of 11 a.m., the Japanese airline said in a faxed statement.

Last weekend, some parts of greater Tokyo saw as much as 50 centimeters, a record for the region, the meteorological agency said.

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