Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Home
  • Business
  • Japan firms looking for ways to coexist with COVID-19

Japan firms looking for ways to coexist with COVID-19

Many firms are also promoting teleworking continuously. (AFP)
Many firms are also promoting teleworking continuously. (AFP)
Short Url:
16 Jul 2020 02:07:00 GMT9
16 Jul 2020 02:07:00 GMT9

TOKYO: Japanese companies are struggling to strike a balance between resuming their business activities and keeping COVID-19 controls in place amid the recent resurgence in new coronavirus infection cases mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The firms are groping for work styles that would make it possible for them to coexist with the threat of the virus.

After the Japanese government lifted its restrictions on travel across prefectural borders in June, some companies gradually started to allow its employees to make domestic business trips while carefully examining their necessity.

As the number of COVID-19 cases began to increase again in Tokyo, however, consumer electronics company Panasonic Corp. notified its employees on July 3 of a policy to minimize travel to and from the Tokyo metropolitan area. Sony Corp., also an electronics maker, eased its restrictions on domestic business trips from the end of June but still encourages its employees to use teleconference systems when they hold meetings.

There are also many companies that continue to ban business trips in principle.

With a large proportion of recent infection cases in Japan reported in nightlife districts, companies are becoming increasingly wary about setting up business dinners as well.

Precision equipment maker Nikon Corp. told its employees on July 6 to refrain from attending business dinners and visiting areas with high risks of infection clusters.

Housing equipment maker Lixil Group Corp. shifted to a policy of requiring its employees to obtain approval from their bosses when having business dinners with people outside the company.

Many firms are also promoting teleworking continuously.

More than 95 percent of internet portal Yahoo Japan Corp.’s employees are still working from home. Free messaging app provider Line Corp. obliged its employees to go to their offices at least once a week after the Japanese government fully lifted its state of emergency over the pandemic in late May, but the firm cancelled this requirement in response to the recent spread of infections.

Even among companies that have not changed their stances on business trips and other activities, some, such as electronics maker Sharp Corp., now say they may strengthen restrictions if the government shifts its policy.

Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of the government’s response to the pandemic, recently said the government may ask Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba to make business suspension requests depending on the extent of the coronavirus outbreak there, suggesting that companies may face the need to take additional steps to fight the virus.

JIJI Press

Most Popular

return to top