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In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Japan’s Mount Fuji will remain closed for hiking this summer.
Shizuoka prefecture, home to the country’s tallest mountain, announced they were closing three of the four main routes to the mountain’s peak.
"The routes open in summer but this year we will keep them closed from Jul 10 to Sep 10 [the only climbing season for Mount Fuji]," a Shizuoka prefecture official told AFP.
"We're taking this measure so as not to spread the coronavirus," the official added.
It will be the first time the trails of the 3,776-metre volcanic mountain are closed since at least 1960 when the prefecture began managing the routes, he added.
The decision of shutting down the hiking trail came after the nearby Yamanashi prefecture said it will close the Yoshida trail, the most popular among the four.
According to Mount Fuji’s official website, the place welcomed 2,36,000 climbers last year.
Mount Fuji, a UNESCO Heritage Site, is located just 100 kilometres from Japan’s capital city Tokyo and is clearly visible from the town.
Till date, Japan has reported 16,569 cases and 825 deaths due to COVID-19, a small number compared to Europe and the United States.
Last week, Japan lifted the state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic for most of the country except for two cities—Tokyo and Osaka.
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