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West Japan Railway Co., or JR West, said Wednesday that it will put employees on temporary leave throughout February.

About 27,500 employees, or over 90% of its total workforce, will be put on leave by turns.

JR West decided on its second company-wide furlough because of an expected drop in passengers after a fresh coronavirus state of emergency was declared in some prefectures including Osaka.

Its first furlough ran from last May to July.

All employees excluding doctors and nurses at its Osaka General Hospital will be subject to the plan, with about 1,000 workers put on leave per day.

Wages during the leave period will be paid in full.

JR West also said that it will postpone the resumption of the Twilight Express Mizukaze luxury sleeper train service until March 20 this year.

The sleeper train has been shuttered since the end of February last year due to the coronavirus crisis. It had been slated to resume operations Feb. 17. this year.

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