CHIBA, JAPAN – A record-low number of people passed through Narita Airport during nation’s Golden Week holidays as most airlines suspended flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, immigration authorities said Wednesday.
The number of travelers during the holiday period between April 24 and May 6 dropped 99 percent from a year earlier to about 12,700, the lowest since comparable data became available in 2008, according to the Narita Airport District Immigration Office.
The preliminary data, provided by the office, showed that nearly 6,700 departed from the international airport near Tokyo during the period, of which about 850 were Japanese nationals, down 99.8 percent from a year before.
Those who arrived at the airport from abroad totaled some 6,000, of which about 4,600 were Japanese, according to the data.
Before the virus was first detected in China late last year, the number of people using Narita had been on the rise, with more flights for inbound tourists becoming available. During the previous year’s Golden Week holidays, as many as 1.26 million travelers passed through the airport.
The annual spring holiday season is usually a time for people in Japan to visit their hometowns or take trips in and out of the country.
But before the start of this year’s holiday season, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency and requested people to stay home as much as possible in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the virus.
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