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Golden Week tests Japan's loose 'stay home' request

Drop in new cases ahead of holidays risks reigniting coronavirus's spread

A man walks along the otherwise empty promenade in front of Tokyo Station on April 27, 2020.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's annual Golden Week spring holiday season usually sends some 25 million people traveling across the country and abroad, but this year the coronavirus pandemic has moved some prefectural governors to urge tourists not to visit.

Unlike some countries that have imposed strict lockdown measures, Japan has relied on what some experts have called a "loose lockdown" -- asking people to stay home and some businesses to close. The policy's effectiveness faces its biggest test on Wednesday as the country enters what for some will be a weeklong string of holidays.

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