I’ve noticed that the typical Japanese work patterns have shifted radically since the March 11th earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear incidents. People are leaving their offices after work, as before, but then most of them are heading home rather than going out drinking with co-workers and friends.
The suburban train stations are more crowded in the evenings as people arrive home, and almost deserted later at night. The local community streets and walkways are as empty as a graveyard by 10:00 pm while there used to be quite a few cars and people on bicycles traveling home even after midnight.
The implications are obvious. When companies report their annual results next spring, the hospitality sector, including restaurants, bars, hotels, taxis, trains, travel bureaus and airlines are going to get hammered. It isn’t going to be pretty, though some smart investors will make out all right.
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