Usual crowds absent from Tokyo's Haneda Airport

Tokyo's Haneda Airport is not experiencing the usual year-end crowds this year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With just two days to go before the New Year, only a few family groups and other travelers were seen at the No.1 terminal for domestic flights on Wednesday morning.

The terminal is usually bustling at this time of year with holidaymakers and people getting ready to leave for their hometowns.

As infections continue to spread, airlines say there are vacant seats on almost all flights on Wednesday, unlike in past years.

The suspension of the government's domestic tourism incentive campaign has added to cancellations of flight reservations.

Japan Airlines says some 450,000 people have reserved seats on flights for between December 25 and January 3. That's only about 40 percent of the previous year's number.

A woman flying to her hometown in Kumamoto Prefecture says she has not seen her aged mother for one year because of the pandemic. She says she is looking forward to meeting her in hospital, even though it will only be for a few minutes.

A man in his 50s from Tokushima Prefecture, who lives separately from his family to work in Tokyo, says he plans to spend the holiday at home, taking thorough anti-infection measures and without going out.