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1 in 5 have online parties, 1 in 3 join online meetings amid pandemic in Japan: poll

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Around one in three people in Japan has taken part in a videoconference since the novel coronavirus started to spread in the country, while slightly over one in five has had an online drinking party, a survey by the Mainichi Shimbun and Social Survey Research Center polling firm indicates.

Since the novel coronavirus began to spread across Japan, the government and local bodies have advised people to work from home, and many people have refrained from meeting at restaurants and bars. In the survey, a total of 34% of respondents said they had taken part in videoconferences, while 66% said they hadn't. When it came to online drinking parties, 22% said they had taken part, while 78% said they hadn't.

Age appeared to have a bearing on participation in such events, with over 40% of those in their 50s or younger and 50% of those in their 30s or younger having taken part in online meetings. It appeared that many people of the current working generation living mainly in urban areas had experienced working online.

When it came to online drinking parties, half of those in their 20s and 40% of those in their 30s said they had taken part. However, the figure fell markedly for those in their 40s and above.

While measures to curb the spread of the virus are being eased in Japan, the emergence of so-called "self-restraint police" who point the finger at laxness in other people's virus prevention measures has been pointed out. The survey asked people whether it bothered them to see other people going out without masks or heading to areas with lots of other people. A total of 36% of people said they were "very concerned" about such behavior while 50% said they were "concerned to some extent." The results indicate that the majority of people are sensitive to such issues.

(Japanese original by Satoru Iwashima, Poll Office)

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