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On a recent Saturday in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district more than 100 people, many of them elderly men, stood close together in a long queue waiting for food handouts.

One of them, Tomoaki Kobayashi, said he was fearing the day he would lose his home as his pension alone was not enough to pay the rent. Still spry, the 72-year-old said he lost his job cleaning pachinko parlors after many of the gambling halls were shut in a state of emergency imposed because of the coronavirus.

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