Some 200 people were caught up in the crashes with 12 of them were sent to hospital
At least 134 cars were involved in a series of crashes in Japan on Tuesday when a snowstorm struck a stretch of highway. One person was killed, and a dozen hurt in the chaos.
The crashes occurred on the Tohoku Expressway in the northern prefecture of Miyagi at around noon, on a stretch of road about 1 km long, the government said.
Authorities had imposed a speed limit of 50kph when heavy snow cut visibility but that was not enough to prevent disaster.
Some 200 people were caught up in the crashes with 12 of them were sent to hospital, the disaster management agency said.
Rescue operations were under way, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told the reporters. Parts of Japan have seen unusually heavy snow in recent weeks.