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Tokyo streets far from deserted after Abe declares emergency

Prime minister has little effect on public as local officials wonder what to do

The government has a long way to go before 80% of Tokyoites decide to stay home. (Photo by Hiroyuki Yamamoto)

TOKYO -- After Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency over the new coronavirus on Tuesday and called for reduced people-to-people contact, the streets of Tokyo were far from deserted.

Unlike in Paris and some other cities, the declaration carries no provision that forces people to stay home. Rather, the prime minister is calling on the public to voluntarily refrain from going outside and work from home as much as possible.

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