Avalanches in and around Japanese ski resorts killed four people including two Argentine men over the weekend, police and media reported on Monday.
The two foreigners aged 50 and 54 were visiting the Ryuoo Ski Park in Nagano Prefecture on Sunday, police said.
They were together with a man from New Zealand and a man and a woman from Australia, a local police spokeswoman said.
"When they skied off-piste shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, an avalanche occurred and engulfed the two Argentine men," she said.
"Their friends made an emergency call and rescuers found their bodies in the snow," she said, adding they were taken to a local hospital where they were confirmed dead.
The avalanche was 30 meters in width and 200 meters long, she said.
Over the weekend there were also two deadly avalanches in Niigata Prefecture, reports said.
A Japanese man aged 48 died Saturday after he was hit by an avalanche as he snowboarded, the Asahi Shimbun reported.
Another Japanese man, aged 35, was found dead in an off-piste area of a ski resort in Niigata, it said, adding police believe he was also hit by an avalanche.
Separately, rescuers were searching for three men in their 50s and 60s who went missing while mountaineering on skis at Hakuba in Nagano's Northern Alps. Police said the three men, aged 57, 59 and 66, had come from Nagoya on Friday for a weekend of skiing.
A helicopter searched for the trio on Monday morning but failed to find them.© AFP/Japan Today