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Five climbers die in Japan on Golden Week holidays

TOKYO -- At least five climbers died in Japan over a long weekend of public holidays during which mountaineers traditionally flock to difficult peaks, police said Wednesday.

A 69-year-old housewife was confirmed dead after she fell about 50 meters (165 feet) from a ridge on the 1,423-meter Mount Arafune in Gunma prefecture Tuesday, local police said Wednesday.

Separately, two men, a 68-year-old medical worker and a 46-year-old banker, were found dead on Tuesday after their three-strong party got caught in bad weather.

The three made an emergency call on Monday night saying they had lost their way on the 3,190-meter Mount Okuhotakadake in Gifu prefecture.

Two men, a 19-year-old National Defense Academy student and his 29-year-old adviser, were found dead after falling 400 meters from a ridge on the 3,110-meter Mount Karasawadake, Shibata said.

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