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According to the highway operator, there have been 54 accidents, due to speeding and other factors, on the curve where the pileup took place.
11 pileup on the Tokyo-bound side of the Chugoku Expressway in Ogori, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The driver of another truck hit the brakes after noticing the crash, only to cause a second pileup with five other trucks.
The fatal pileup occurred amid light rain when a large truck rear-ended another large truck around 12:30 a.
The pileup was the second this week on the expressway linking the Tokyo and Nagoya metropolitan areas, following one on Monday just 17 kilometers from Wednesday's accident.
Astronomers stress there is no astronomical significance to the pileup.
Two drivers of large trucks were killed and three other people injured early Wednesday in a pileup involving eight vehicles on the Hanshin Expressway in Kobe's Hyogo Ward, police said.
PALMDALE - A thunderstorm sparked a dozen small wildfires from Littlerock to the Kern County line and stirred up a dust storm that caused a chain-reaction pileup on the Antelope Valley Freeway.
Three men were killed and roughly 70 were injured in a pileup involving 41 vehicles on a highway in Fukagawa, Hokkaido, during a snowstorm on Wednesday, firefighters and police said.
CANYON COUNTRY - A Lancaster woman looking at a police stop on the shoulder caused a seven-car pileup on the Antelope Valley Freeway on Wednesday morning, blocking southbound traffic for miles for more than an hour, authorities said.
About two hours later, a large truck smashed into the rear end of a traffic jam caused by the van accident and triggered a pileup involving a sightseeing bus and seven other vehicles.
Below, a pileup stalls things as racers vie for the best lap times.