Fewer people seen after restrictions take effect

Mobile phone data show that fewer people were out on Monday night in popular downtown areas in the three prefectures where intensive measures were implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Measures such as restrictions on business hours took effect on Monday in the western prefectures of Osaka and Hyogo, as well as in the northern prefecture of Miyagi.

NHK analyzed big data on the movement of people between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. that was collected by mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo.

The number of people around Sannomiya in Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture, was down 22 percent from a week ago. It was also down 18 percent from the average for Mondays in March.

The number of individuals near Shinsaibashi in Osaka City fell by 17 percent from a week earlier, and by 14 percent from last month.

The number of people out near Kokubuncho in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, decreased by 7 percent from a week ago, and by 14 percent from last month.

Meanwhile, the number of people in Kabukicho in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward was down 6 percent from a week ago, but it was up 9 percent from last month.