Secondary school students and teachers were making a climb in the central town of Nasu at the time
Eight people are feared dead after a group of Japanese secondary school students and teachers were caught in an avalanche at a ski resort.
They were among a group of more than 60 making a climb in the central town of Nasu, around 160 km north of Tokyo.
Many others are believed to have been injured, with Reuters reporting that two people are in critical condition.
The Japan Times reports that the local government has asked the country's Self-Defense Forces to send a disaster relief team.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo told the National Diet (parliament): "[The government] will make every effort to respond to the disaster, while making it a top priority to rescue victims”.