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Japan rethinks work culture as coronavirus spurs school closures

School closures mean companies must be more flexible for working parents

The coronavirus outbreak has spurred more companies in Japan to introduce teleworking and flexible work times.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Companies in Japan are scrambling to accommodate working parents after nationwide school closures aimed at fighting the coronavirus went into effect on Monday, just days after the move was announced.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called for schools across Japan to remain closed until the start of the new term in April in order to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. In a country known for its long working hours, shuttering schools means depriving many families of much-needed child care services.

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