TOKYO (JAPAN) – While Japan had curbed New Year’s celebrations due to the third wave of COVID, a number of flights to the country had to be cancelled due to heavy snowfall which hit several areas of Japan on Thursday
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways cancelled or planned to cancel a total of around 140 flights. A bullet train too had suspended services in some parts of the northern Yamagata prefecture.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has urged people to celebrate New Year quietly, and avoid non-essential outings, amid the twin crises. People have been asked to cut down visits to shrines which is a popular tradition on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Wednesday the government may have to consider declaring a state of emergency if the number the COVID-19 cases grow.
In Tokyo, where the governor has warned of a potential explosion in COVID-19 cases amid record daily increases, extra train services will be suspended from late Dec. 31 to Jan. 1.
Japan’s Imperial Household Agency has cancelled an annual New Year’s event set for Jan. 2, at which Emperor Naruhito and other imperial family members were due to greet well wishers.