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Companies in Japan have not promoted teleworking much, despite a call by the government to reduce the number of workers in offices by 70% during the second coronavirus state of emergency, a survey by the Japan Productivity Center has shown.

The proportion of teleworkers fell to 22.0% in mid-January, from 31.5 % in May last year, when the country was under the first state of emergency.

The share dropped to 32.7%, from 41.3%, in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures that have been under the emergency since Jan. 8. The emergency was later expanded to include seven other prefectures.

The proportion of teleworkers who went to the office not more than two days per week dropped to 55.0%, from 69.4 %.

The lower telework rate is “apparently because society is getting used to the coronavirus,” an official at the Japan Productivity Center said.

The online survey was conducted Jan. 12 to 13, receiving answers from 1,100 people.

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