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Over 220 flights canceled in Hokkaido due to heavy snow

Jan 02 (Japan Times) - Over 220 flights connecting Hokkaido to other parts of Japan were canceled Saturday after the country’s northernmost main island was hit by another day of heavy snow.

The cancellations at New Chitose Airport, the region’s main airline hub, were equivalent to 60% of flights arriving at or departing from the airport in a day, according to its operator.

Runways were closed for around three hours after noon for snow removal, causing three flights from Narita Airport near Tokyo to turn back, according to the flights’ operators Jetstar Japan Co. and Peach Aviation Ltd.

Around 130 trains, including a rapid service linking Sapporo with New Chitose Airport, were also canceled.

In western Japan, 25 people were forced to spend the night on board a train due to fallen trees left from the previous day, West Japan Railway Co. said.

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A meeting to deal with the three major airports in the Kansai region was held on Monday in Osaka City, where it was decided to officially submit a proposal for new flight routes for Kansai and Kobe Airports to the government, significantly increasing their capacity.

The Cape Soya Lighthouse, standing tall on a hill in Wakkanai City, Hokkaido, is Japan's northernmost lighthouse, established 139 years ago.

Kanagawa Prefecture unveiled its new logo, 'Kanagawa-Ken,' last Friday, only to find itself facing allegations that the design closely resembles Chiba Prefecture's mascot, 'Chiba-kun.'

Osaka Prefectural Police have issued a new directive urging all officers to wear sunglasses to protect themselves from the heat and sunlight.

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