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Climate change hastens Japan's cherry blossom season

Japan's celebrated cherry blossom, which for millions heralds the start of spring, is under threat from climate change, according to experts, who say warmer weather is causing early flowering.

Cherry blossom season officially began in Tokyo this year on March 21 -- five days ahead of schedule and a full week earlier than the average for the last 30 years of the 20th century.
Far from being a freak occurrence, the phenomenon of early blossoming has been happening for several years, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

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