Some 134 vehicles involved in an incident that forced the closure of the Tohoku Expressway as snow storms hit the north of the country.
At least one person was killed and 17 injured in a massive pile-up of at least 134 vehicles in blizzard conditions on a highway in northern Japan, officials said.
About 200 people were stranded in the stack, which forced the closure of the Tohoku Expressway in Miyagi Prefecture, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said on Tuesday.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said a truck had sunk into a passenger car, triggering stacking on a 1 km (0.6 mile) stretch of highway.
One person was killed, he said.
The disaster agency later said 17 others were injured, two of them seriously.
Public broadcaster NHK said it took about eight hours for road authorities to finish cleaning up the debris.
Traffic authorities had imposed a speed limit of 50 km (30 miles) per hour at the time of the crash due to low visibility due to a snowstorm, Kato said.
Parts of northern Japan have been hit by heavy snowfall in recent weeks.
Last year around this time heavy snowfall at least 53 dead and 574 injured in western and northern Japan.
The loss of life has largely occurred in five prefectures along the Sea of Japan, in the regions of Tohoku and Hokkaido.