Yellow sand reaching many parts of Japan

Japanese weather officials are warning that yellow sand from China's desert regions has reached many parts of the country, hitting western areas in particular.

The Meteorological Agency said the dust, carried by westerly winds, was observed on Tuesday from western to northern Japan.

Before 10 a.m. the dust had reduced visibility to three kilometers in the western cities of Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture and Hikone in Shiga Prefecture. Visibility had also been reduced to four kilometers in the cities of Fukuoka, Oita and Kobe, all in western Japan.

More yellow sand is expected in from western to northern Japan on Wednesday, reducing visibility to less than five kilometers.

The agency officials said poor visibility could disrupt traffic, and warned drivers to take caution. They also warned that laundry hung out to dry could be affected.