National

More firms to offer telework to ease traffic jams during 2020 Games

Kyodo

Japanese companies are stepping up efforts to reduce traffic congestion during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, with some planning to offer telework and others reducing logistics operations.

More than 50,000 employees of Fujitsu Ltd.’s group companies and 34,000 workers of NEC Corp. will take part in the telework trial program led by the government and the organizing committee of the Tokyo Games.

The two companies are among 3,000 entities involving 600,000 people nationwide expected to join the program to be conducted between July 22 and Sept. 6, roughly a year before the start of the Olympics on July 24 next year. The participants nearly doubled from 1,682 entities and 300,000 people involved in the program last year.

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to allow 1,600 of its Tokyo-based employees to work from home during the Olympics to avert heavy traffic, while office equipment maker Ricoh Co. will close its Tokyo headquarters office to save 2,000 of its staffers from traveling to work.

Eight million people commute in the Tokyo metropolitan area per day, and the Olympic events is expected to draw an additional 650,000 spectators and tourists to the area on peak days during the 2020 Summer Olympics between July 24 and Aug. 9, followed by the Paralympics from Aug. 25 to Sept. 6., according to an estimate by Azuma Taguchi, a professor at Chuo University.

Asahi Breweries Ltd. said last month it will operate 30 percent of its trucks during off peak hours and bring forward importing of ingredients and wine to avoid some shipping during the games.

Major railway and metro operators in the Tokyo area plan to extend their operating hours during the games, as requested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and games organizers for cooperation in easing congestion and problems at train stations.

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