Feb. 1 - Snow fall in Japan close to record high with more to come. Sophia Soo reports.
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Japan is preparing for the worst, after record snowfall in a number of prefectures along the Sea of Japan.
The snow has been blamed for the deaths of over 50 people.
Snow drifts 3.4 metres high covered the second floor windows of homes in Tsunan.
Most of those killed had slipped and fallen, while clearing snow from rooftops.
The Japanese government has vowed to help in the removal of snow, in areas where there are now few young people to help clear the roads and rooftops.
(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER YOSHIHIKO NODA SAYING:
"The budget for 2011 still has 280 billion yen left in emergency funds and we will look towards using both that and payments towards local governments in March to deal with snow removal."
In the winter of 2005 and 2006, record high snow drifts rose over 4.5 metres, leaving mountain villages stranded as roads were cut off.
It was blamed for the deaths of 152 people, and about $130 million U.S dollars in damages.
Sophia Soo, Reuters.
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