Central Japan Railway to put thousands on leave

NHK -- Jan 16
Rising coronavirus cases are leading Central Japan Railway to take the unprecedented step of requiring thousands of employees to go on paid leave as passenger numbers drop sharply.

The measure targets about 9,500 workers, including station staff for both the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train line and conventional lines. It also applies to Shinkansen crew and maintenance workers.

The firm will remove about 400 workers a day from January 25 to February 28.

Company officials say they are making the move due to a declining workload and to prevent the spread of infection among employees.

Central Japan Railway had already decided to cut back Shinkansen services following the government's state of emergency declaration.

It will reduce the number of Shinkansen trains by around 10 percent from Monday through the end of February.