The pandemic is weakening the office’s grip on Japanese commuters

Emergency measures have increased acceptance in office-bound Japan of the kinds of lifestyle changes that could one day empty out Tokyo’s overflowing trains. …

Crowded trains have always been part of life in Tokyo. The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t put an end to that—but it’s offering a glimpse of a future when they might no longer be spilling over.

In the weeks since the government lifted the state of emergency in the entire country on May 25, life is quickly returning to normal in the Japanese capital’s train stations. So packed are Tokyo’s trains, for example, that anxious commuters are posting photos of cramped carriages on social media with the hashtag “crowded train.”

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