Hundreds of Japanese soldiers have spent the night struggling to remove accumulated snow as some 1,400 cars were stranded in a massive snow storm in coastal area west of Tokyo.
The Defence Ministry says it has boosted the number of troops dispatched to 750 from 170 overnight as the number of vehicles stuck on a snowy road between the cities of Sakai and Awara in Fukui prefecture rose to about 1,500 at one point.
One motorist died of carbon monoxide poisoning as his car was buried in snow with his engine still running, local authorities said.
Dozens of people were injured in Fukui, Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures as the storm battered the region, dumping more snow.
More than 400 schools called off classes and local authorities closed sections of major roads and highways in the region, while flights and train services were cancelled.
The fresh snowfall pushed the snow accumulation to 136 centimetres in the city of Fukui, the heaviest snow in 37 years, and to 191 centimetres in Kaga, national broadcaster NHK reported.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned of blizzard conditions, avalanche risk and further traffic disruption in Sea of Japan coastal areas.
Japan has been hard-hit this winter. In late January, the heaviest snow in four years pummelled Tokyo, injuring hundreds of people and causing more than 700 traffic accidents.