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Cold snap disrupting Tokyo air transport, snowfall forecast

Children play in the snow in Chiba, on Feb. 9, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A cold snap hit Tokyo and vicinity Saturday, causing cancellations of more than 100 domestic flights to and from the Japanese capital.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said up to 5 centimeters of snow is expected to fall in downtown Tokyo by 6 a.m. Sunday as a cold air mass remains above a wide area of eastern Japan.

Japan Airlines Co. and All Nippon Airways Co. canceled more than 100 flights as of noon Saturday into and out of Haneda and Narita airports servicing Tokyo.

At Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, the operator repeatedly closed one of its runways to clear it of snow. Snowfall of up to 2 cm was observed in parts of Chiba.

Cold weather continued to hit Hokkaido, the country's northernmost main island, on Saturday with the mercury dropping below minus 20 C at many locations, including Rikubetsu, where the temperature was recorded at minus 31.8 C, according to the agency.

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