National

Tokyo quiet as people return to work after Golden Week under emergency

Kyodo

Major stations in Tokyo and its vicinity remained quiet Thursday, with a limited number of people commuting on the first workday after the long Golden Week holiday amid the extended state of emergency.

People showed an understanding of the government’s decision Monday to extend the state of emergency to the end of the month from the originally scheduled expiration date on Wednesday. But many said they are stressed by the restrictions put in place as a result of the initial declaration on April 7.

“There was no choice but to extend” the state of emergency, Osamu Tomura, a 58-year-old bank employee, said, adding that he wants the government to set steps toward lifting the measures.

“I want (the government) to set thorough measures so that efforts by people complying (with the government request) are rewarded,” he said.

Under the extended state of emergency, the government has basically continued to ask people to stay at home and avoid nonessential outings.

Few people were seen walking near Tokyo Station on Thursday morning, and those that were mostly wore face masks.

A 44-year-old man said, however, it appeared there were more people around the station than before the Golden Week holiday.

He said he is worried about the impact of the prolonged stay-at-home request on his two children — one in elementary school and the other in junior high school.

“They cannot take part in extracurricular activities (at school) and are building up stress staying at home. I am concerned about their physical and mental health if this continues for long,” he said.

While the man has been working mostly from home, he said it is hard to stay motivated without knowing when life can return to normal.

“I want the government to quickly give us a target for lifting the measures,” he said.

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