TOTTORI - Severely cold air moved over Japan, causing heavy snow on Tuesday mainly on the Sea of Japan side stretching from northern to western Japan.
The biggest January snowfall on record was seen in Tottori, Okayama and Hyogo prefectures, with about 650 vehicles being intermittently stranded from Monday afternoon at four locations on expressways and national roads in Tottori Prefecture.
The snowfall as of noon Tuesday was 218 centimeters in the town of Daisen and 101 centimeters in the town of Chizu, both in Tottori Prefecture.
On Tuesday morning, Tottori Gov. Shinji Hirai asked the Self-Defence Forces to send personnel on a disaster relief mission.