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The JR Building, which once housed the former head offices of the Japanese National Railways, will be closed Sept. 29, putting an end to a 60-year history that encompassed the defunct Railway Ministry.

East Japan Railway Co., which was still operating in the building, adjacent to JR Tokyo Station, began its first day of business in its new head offices, located just outside JR Shinjuku Station, on Sept. 29. JR Bus Kanto Co., the first firm to leave the building, will wrap up its move to the Shinjuku building Sept. 29.

Demolition work is to begin within a week on the former Kokuro (National Railways Workers Union) Hall, also across from JR Tokyo Station. The JR Building includes both the original eight-story structure completed in 1937 and the nine-story addition completed in 1963. JNR took over the building in 1949, when it replaced the functions of the Railway Ministry.

The 1.2-hectare site on which the buildings stand is to be sold by JNR Settlement Corp. to raise part of the funds to repay long-term JNR debts. The corporation will announce a tender for the site this fall and the actual bidding will be held in January or February.

The buildings will be demolished by the buyers of the land. Toyota Motor Co. is said to be considering a bid for the site.

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