Central Japan Railway Co. said Friday it will reduce services on its Tokaido Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations later this month, due to a plunge in passengers amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The company, known as JR Central, will cancel some of the Nozomi trains on the line from next Thursday to March 31, with the number of trains to be suspended reaching up to 27 per day. A total of 192 Nozomi trains will be canceled during the period.

Many of the trains to be suspended are those planned to meet an expected surge in travel demand during the spring break period. The company will allow people who have purchased tickets for the affected Nozomi trains to switch to other shinkansen or get a refund.

All Hikari and Kodama trains between Tokyo Station and Shin-Osaka Station on the shinkansen line will be operated as scheduled during the period, the company said.

On Tuesday, JR Tokai said that the number of passengers on the Tokaido Shinkansen line in the first nine days of March plummeted 56 percent from a year before, apparently reflecting growing moves among companies and people to avoid business and sightseeing trips amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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