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Snow forces 3,400 to spend night at Tokyo airport

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02:23 PM January 15th, 2013

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January 15th, 2013 02:23 PM

Passengers sit and sleep on the floor as they wait for flights, many of which were delayed or canceled due to heavy snowfall, at Narita International Airport, outside of Tokyo, Tuesday, Jan 15, 2013. This winter’s first snow in the Tokyo area severely disrupted travel. AP Nick Ut

TOKYO—Tokyo’s Narita International Airport operator says 3,400 travelers spent the night in the terminal after snow caused airlines to cancel 71 flights.

In the season’s first snowfall in the Japanese capital, about 8 centimeters (3 inches) of snow fell in central Tokyo and around Narita on Monday—a national holiday in Japan. The snow snarled traffic and caused train delays.

Airport officials distributed sleeping bags, water and crackers to stranded travellers. Normal flight operations at Narita resumed Tuesday, except for a few delays.

Major train operator JR East said trains were running on schedule Tuesday.

Sections of several highways around Tokyo were still closed Tuesday as workers cleared away snow and ice.

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