• Kyodo

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Major Japanese department store operators said Monday their sales in May dived over 60 percent from year-earlier levels as many of their outlets shut or reduced business hours under a nationwide state of emergency over the novel coronavirus.

J. Front Retailing Co., operator of Daimaru and Matsuzakaya department stores, said its sales in the reporting month plunged 73.2 percent from a year earlier, slightly improved from a 79.1 percent fall in April.

Takashimaya Co.’s sales plummeted 62.9 percent, with its duty-free sales down 98.7 percent, while those of Sogo and Seibu Co. sank 61.5 percent.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Hokkaido on May 25, ending the emergency he issued across the country in April to curb the spread of the pneumonia-causing virus.

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