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Monday, 23rd March 2009
In Weather In Japan,

Tokyo's cherry blossom seasons opens early

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo and Nagasaki prefectures bloomed on Saturday (March 21st), it has emerged.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the flowers - which are known as someiyoshino in their native country - came out a week earlier than on average and 24 hours earlier than in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Nagasaki blossoms flowered three days earlier than last year and four days before the average.

An agency official commented: "A rise in temperatures is one of the key elements prompting cherry trees to bloom.

"The early blooming could be affected by global warming, but we need more study to probe it."

Experts at Kyushu University had predicted that the effects of global warming would result in the cherry blossoms blooming significantly earlier than usual.

Cherry blossom festivals are held in Japan throughout the year, including one in Matsue City at the end of the month and another in Matsuyama City in April.

Written by Mark Smith