• Kyodo

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The number of people using shinkansen and conventional train services operated by Japan Railway companies plunged 68% during the year-end and New Year's period compared with a year earlier, to 4,879,000, marking the lowest level since comparable data was made available in 1991, six JR companies said Wednesday.

The margin of decline was the biggest on record as well, with the companies citing the COVID-19 pandemic and the suspension of some services due to heavy snow in the Northeast as reasons.

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