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Although not targeted by authorities for closure requests under measures to battle the spread of coronavirus, many bookstores in Japan’s major metropolitan areas have chosen to close or curtail opening hours, dealing a blow to book and magazine publishers.

Meanwhile, for the public whose appetite for reading has only increased as it responds to the government’s stay-at-home requests, the pain of bookshop closures has been compounded by an almost total shutdown of municipal-run libraries in urban areas.

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