JR East, Others Start to End Daily Services Early under Emergency

Society Guide to Japan

Tokyo, Jan. 21 (Jiji Press)--A total of 25 railway operators in the Tokyo metropolitan area, including East Japan Railway Co. <9020>, or JR East, started Wednesday to end their daily services early under a fresh novel coronavirus state of emergency issued by the Japanese government.

By moving up the operations of the last trains of the day by up to around 30 minutes while the emergency is in place, the companies aim to encourage people not to go out at night, thereby helping reduce coronavirus infection cases. The virus emergency, covering Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures, as well as seven prefectures outside the metropolitan area, are slated to last until Feb. 7.

Among the 25 operators, JR East brought forward the end of daily services on 11 lines, including the Yamanote Line, a loop service in Tokyo, by about eight to 32 minutes. Tokyo Metro Co., a subway operator, moved up the operations of the last trains of the day on all of its lines by around four to 20 minutes.

Users reacted calmly. At Shinbashi Station, which hosts the Yamanote and some other lines, Toshihiro Ogawa, a 43-year-old corporate worker, on his way home after a drinking party, said: “Restaurants and pubs close early under the state of emergency, so I don’t drink (until late night) while keeping the departure time of the last train in mind. I think that moving up the last trains is a good thing.” Ogawa is from Koto Ward in Tokyo.

A 51-year-old company worker, also a resident of Koto Ward, said the railway operators’ moves have posed no problem for him because he now does not go out late at night very often.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press