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Tokyo area's last trains to depart earlier amid virus resurgence

(Xinhua)    10:03, January 14, 2021

TOKYO, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- East Japan Railway Co. on Wednesday said the last trains of the day will depart earlier in the Tokyo metropolitan area starting from Jan. 20, in a bid to curb the further spread of the virus.

The operator, also known as JR East, said the earlier departures of the trains will affect 11 lines it runs. It is believed that other operators in the metropolitan region may follow suit.

Along with the transport ministry, the governors of Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, have asked railway operators to expedite the departure times of the final trains ahead of already planned scheduled changes that had initially been made to come into effect in March.

The move to bring up the deadline of the new, earlier departures, is owing to declining last train passenger numbers among other determining factors, the operators said.

Meanwhile, a total of 42 trains on weekdays and 40 trains on Saturdays and holidays on 11 lines, will be suspended by JR East, the operator said.

The departure times of the last trains will be brought forward by eight to 32 minutes and will comprise the Yamanote, Chuo, Keihin Tohoku and Keiyo lines, the operator said.

The earlier departures are expected to be kept in place until at least until Feb. 7, to coordinate with the proposed end of a virus emergency currently in effect for Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, JR East said, adding that this date will be reviewed should it be decided that the regional state of emergency be extended.

The government declared a virus emergency for a second time in the Tokyo metropolitan area last Friday and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday expanded it to seven other prefectures including Osaka and Aichi prefectures.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Du Mingming)

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