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Over 400,000 flee Tokyo in 2020 coronavirus exodus

Teleworking options and job loss weakens pull of capital city

The Japanese capital has long attracted those seeking jobs, opportunity and excitement, but many are rethinking the choice amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- A record number of Tokyo residents left the city in 2020, as concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and greater availability of remote work propelled hundreds of thousands of people to seek cheaper and less crowded areas in Japan.

A total of 401,805 people moved out of Tokyo in 2020, 4.7% more than in 2019, according to data published Friday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication. This represents the largest outflow since comparable data first became available in 2014.

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