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Japan hops onto jump-rope as COVID spurs exercise at home

Dance music, video games and online lessons gain popularity

Shoichi Kasuo gives online jump-rope lessons in Aichi prefecture in Japan. (Photo by Koji Uema)

TOKYO -- Jumping rope is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. The "jump-rope dance" by the girl group NiziU is going viral, with many people mimicking it and posting their versions on social media. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a number of people also have turned to "air jump-rope" to get some exercise indoors as they continue to stay mostly at home.

"It's cute and not too hard," said Haruna Asakura, a coffee shop staffer in her mid-20s in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture.

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