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No fun to be had over Golden Week as COVID rages through Japan

State of emergency hammers travel and retail sectors over key holidays

Reservations for flights and Shinkansen trains during Japan's Golden Week remain far below pre-COVID levels. (Source photos by Toshiki Sasazu and Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- Japanese airlines, leisure businesses and retailers are facing a grim Golden Week again this year after the government reimposed a state of emergency in several prefectures due to a rapid spread of coronavirus.

Airlines said flight bookings for the week through May 5 had improved from the same period last year when COVID-19 first struck, but were still down substantially from 2019.

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