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The number of passengers on the Tokaido Shinkansen line between Feb. 1 and Wednesday declined 8 percent from a year earlier, operator Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Central) has said.

The decrease reflects low travel demand due to the outbreak of new coronavirus COVID-19, and the absence of a three-day weekend seen last year.

On weekends and a national holiday, the number of passengers fell 11 percent. The number dropped 7 percent on weekdays, when many people use the bullet train service for business trips.

Sales at station buildings and commercial facilities run by the JR Central group decreased about 10 to 20 percent on average from the beginning of February, company officials said.

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