Tokyo — These days, the section of Tokyo Station serving regional destinations is a shadow of its former self. Gone are the usual crowds and on a midweek afternoon in late September, just a handful of commuters browsed bento-box stores.

“I see more cleaning staff getting off trains than passengers,” said Taro Aoki, who oversees 18 fast-food outlets in the capital’s main inter-city rail terminal. “People used to swiftly pick which bento to buy and wait in line, but now, there’s hardly anyone around.”..

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