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Business leaders agreed to further promote teleworking to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus in a teleconference with economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Thursday.

Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, and Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, responded favorably to Nishimura’s request for cooperation over the government’s target of reducing interactions among people by 80 percent to prevent the virus from spreading.

Nakanishi promised to accelerate efforts to drastically reduce the frequency of interactions among corporate employees by increasing the use of remote working and teleconferences.

Mimura sought support from the government over supplies of laptop computers and communications equipment. “Many midsize companies have introduced (teleworking), but there are obstacles to popularizing it among firms with 300 employees or less,” he said.

Following the teleconference with Nishimura, Keidanren called on its member companies to be thorough in their efforts to adopt teleworking and staggered commuting, as well as in avoiding the use of eating and drinking establishments in busy shopping districts.

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