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Tokyo bars and restaurants reopen under a clouded future

Economic uncertainty remains despite outward appearance of normality

The usually crowded scramble crossing in the Shibuya district of Tokyo on May 26 shows that residents of the capital are still reluctant to venture out, despite the lifting of the emergency. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

TOKYO -- The lifting of the state of emergency in Tokyo saw many people resuming their daily commutes by train on Tuesday. With stations bustling, the city seemed almost normal.

In the major thoroughfare of Ikebukuro, the train station that was nearly empty last weekend is again packed. While the morning rush hour crowd was slightly below levels seen before the pandemic, people lined up outside lunch spots surrounding the station at noon. Most wore masks, but social distancing guidelines seemed to have been forgotten.

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