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COVID deals blow to Japan's unique Valentine tradition

Women less likely to hand out 'obligation chocolates' to male coworkers on Feb. 14

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a unique but outdated Valentine's Day tradition in Japan to slowly fade away. (Photo by Yuki Nakao) 

TOKYO -- The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prompted a unique Valentine's Day tradition in Japan to slowly fade away -- much to the relief of female workers.

It has long been common practice for women in Japan to give giri choco, or "obligation chocolate," to their male colleagues and bosses on Feb. 14. Though Valentine's is normally seen as a day for couples to celebrate their love, giri choco is given to men for whom women have no romantic feelings.

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