Railway operators serving the Tokyo metropolitan region, including East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) announced Friday their respective decisions not to run trains all night on New Year’s Eve through New Year’s Day, as a measure to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
For JR East, the cancellation of the train services will be the first since the firm was formed through the 1987 breakup and privatization of the Japanese National Railways.
All-night trains usually run by Tokyo Metro Co., the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Transportation, Keisei Electric Railway Co. and Keikyu Corp. will also be canceled.
On Wednesday, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and the governors of three prefectures bordering the capital made the request to the central government and railway firms that offering services in all or part of the four prefectures for all-night trains not to be operated on New Year’s Eve. Acting on the move, the transport ministry asked the 10 such operators to meet the request.
On New Year’s Eve, the greater Tokyo region is normally crowded with people attending countdown events and visiting shrines and temples. JR East had planned to operate trains all night on its 12 lines in the region on New Year’s Eve of this year.
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