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An increasing number of companies in Japan are providing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the novel coronavirus at low cost, an effort to help boost travel demand battered by the pandemic.

On Saturday, Kinoshita Group Co., a housing business operator, opened PCR testing centers at Tokyo International Airport, one each at its Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 buildings for domestic passengers.

Visitors can take a PCR test there for ¥1,900. The centers also provide antigen tests, which produce results in 15 minutes.

Japan Airlines allows members of its frequent flyer program to get a PCR test for ¥2,000.

Customers of rival All Nippon Airways, a unit of ANA Holdings Inc., can undergo a PCR test for ¥2,500 if they make a reservation for a flight ticket and accommodation in a set.

Budget airline Peach Aviation is offering free PCR tests through May 9 to domestic passengers departing from Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture or Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture.

Nippon Travel Agency Co. has launched a service in which customers can get tested for ¥2,300. Those who test positive do not have to pay cancellation fees for travel products from the company.

The Japanese tourism industry is increasingly being hit by the pandemic's fallout. Major tourist destinations in the country, including Tokyo as well as Osaka, Kyoto and Okinawa prefectures, are in the coronavirus pre-emergency stage where people are asked to refrain from traveling across prefectural borders.

"We're hoping to prevent infections caused by trips and eliminate anxiety related to travel" through coronavirus testing services before departure, a Nippon Travel Agency official said.

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