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Travel & Leisure

Japan tour guides face job losses as coronavirus slams travel

Government rushes to roll out relief measures to counter plunge in foreign visitors

Crowds are sparse, even at destinations such as Tokyo's Asakusa, popular with foreign visitors. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

TOKYO -- Japan on Thursday is set to announce foreign visitor figures for February, which are expected to have plunged as travel bans and restrictions in Asia and around the world triggered by the novel coronavirus wreak havoc on the country's tourism sector, long seen by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a key to revitalizing the nation's economy.

The government is pledging financial aid, but people in the industry, anxious about the threat to livelihoods with no signs of improvement on the horizon, say more needs to be done.

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