Coronavirus Epidemic Driving University Cafeterias to Edge

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 28 (Jiji Press)--The novel coronavirus epidemic has driven university cafeterias into an existential crisis, with the number of students at the campuses plunging.

While some cafeterias have asked for help to protect their cheap yet filling dishes, others have closed due to financial difficulties.

Established in 1937, "Yamashoku," a cafeteria at Keio University's Mita Campus in Tokyo's Minato Ward, is known for its famous curry and ramen dishes. Without the bustle of students and teachers, however, it has been quiet.

While the cafeteria has reduced the number of seats from around 160 to 50, these are never fully occupied, even during lunch break. The cafeteria has not hosted any parties by students or graduates, a major source of its income, since March. Loans of 5 million yen it borrowed from a bank in August ran out at the end of October.

"It will be difficult for us to survive if the situation remains unchanged," Tadao Tanimura, 81, head of the cafeteria's operator, said. The cafeteria kicked off a crowdfunding campaign recently, after Tanimura consulted the university.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press