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Japan debates creating 'backup' city to capital Tokyo

Spreading out ministries and companies would help avoid total shutdown

Tokyo's Kasumigaseki district is the home of many ministries and central-government agencies. (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

TOKYO -- As Japan adjusts to a new normal of remote work and social distancing, a proposal to disperse governmental and corporate operations across the country has begun to gain traction.

The parliament, ministries and other central-government entities, as well as many corporate headquarters and research institutions, are now concentrated in the Tokyo area. Spreading them across different regions could help the country avoid shutting down completely if a catastrophic pandemic or natural disaster hits the capital.

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