Expected heavy snow could close some Japanese expressways

Operators of expressways in northern, eastern and western Japan say they may close some roads due to heavy snow that is forecast between Tuesday and Thursday.

They say sections of toll roads in Hokkaido, Gunma, Nagano, Niigata and Toyama prefectures may be closed as early as Monday night, while expressways in Fukui and Shiga prefectures may be partially closed from Tuesday night.

The expressway companies are urging drivers to avoid non-essential journeys and to keep an eye on weather and traffic conditions. They are also advising drivers to fit winter tires or carry snow chains.

Trucking companies should consider taking detours or adjusting delivery dates.

The transport ministry's regional bureaus say national highways may be partially closed for snow removal. They say drivers should allow extra time for travel.