Parts of Japan hit by record snowfall

Japan deployed the military to help residents trapped by record snowfall that has blanketed parts of the country, with 10,000 homes losing power in the north and west. A record 2.17 metres (7.12 feet) of snow fell in Minakami in Gunma prefecture over 72 hours, reports said, while Yuzawa in Niigata prefecture, famous for skiing, got a record 1.8 metres of snow on Thursday morning. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the storm was forecast to weaken temporarily but more snow was expected for the region over the weekend. The cold snap comes as Japan battles a spike in coronavirus cases, even though it has had a relatively small outbreak overall and has avoided imposing strict lockdown measures.