Tokyo's usual crowds thin as nuclear fears rise

AP News
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Posted: Mar 17, 2011 11:09 AM

Tokyo's famous shopping mecca usually teems at lunchtime with tourists, office workers and fashionistas. Not Thursday.

In the upscale Ginza district _ as elsewhere in the Japanese capital _ public apprehension over a brewing nuclear disaster is draining streets and stores of the crowds that normally define this dynamic, densely packed city.

Shops struggle to draw customers. Many, including brand name draws such as Gucci and Coach, stand dark.

Even though Tokyo avoided major damage from last week's earthquake, the metropolis is on edge as it eyes the unfolding crisis at a tsunami-struck nuclear power plant 140 miles (220 kilometers) away in northeast Japan.

Many people are staying close to home. Others are leaving town.