Several people are also in critical condition.

Two people have died in Japan after choking on traditional mochi rice cakes as part of New Year festivities.

According to the BBC, two people have been killed whilst several are in critical condition after choking on mochi rice cakes as part of New Year tradition in Japan.

The sticky rice cakes are cooked in a vegetable broth to celebrate New Year. However, the soft, chewy, larger than bite-sized snacks need to be chewed properly before swallowing.

Consequently, those who have difficulty chewing, such as the young and elderly, struggle eating them and could suffocate in the process.

90% of those who are admitted to hospital after choking on mochi cakes in new year celebrations are aged 65 or older.

Last year two people also died after eating mochi cakes at new year, whilst 12 were hospitalised. 2016 saw one death, whilst nine died bringing in 2015.