Rare extreme low temperatures forecast by authorities

Japan's Meteorological Agency and transport ministry have warned of heavy snow from Tuesday onwards as a result of the coldest air mass so far this season.

The head of the agency's weather monitoring and warning center, Kato Hiro, warned that previous heavy snowfall in December had left vehicles stranded on the roads.

He called on the public to refrain from non-essential outings in the event of heavy snow.

Kato said nationwide, temperatures are expected to dip to levels seen only once in a decade, which could cause snow to linger on the ground. He added water pipes and water facilities could sustain damage, and he wants residents to be fully prepared.