Railway Firms Asked to Encourage Staggered Commuting

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan's transport minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Tuesday his ministry has called on railway operators across the nation to encourage passengers to opt for staggered commuting and teleworking to help prevent the further spread of the new coronavirus.

The request was made on Monday, he told a press conference, noting that railway operators were asked to make such announcements at stations and on trains. The measure is intended to alleviate congestion on trains, he said.

The transport ministry also requested the companies to make announcements encouraging hand washing and the use of alcohol disinfectants, he said.

Meanwhile, Akaba said the ministry is not considering asking people to refrain from using public transportation systems at the moment. Such a step will make their lives very inconvenient while delivering a huge blow to economic activities, he said.

Akaba also said that he instructed staff workers at the ministry's headquarters in Tokyo to avoid the morning rush hour between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. in commuting and use teleworking as much as possible for the time being. "I want around half of the headquarters employees to adopt staggered commuting," he added.

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Jiji Press