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Japan department stores downbeat despite longer operation hours

Industry calls for rent support, warning of impact on suppliers

Department store sales in Tokyo fell 32% in April from the same month in 2019, before the pandemic, according to the Japan Department Stores Association. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

TOKYO -- Japan has relaxed some restrictions on retailers, even as the government extended a state of emergency for nine prefectures, but department store operators remain downbeat about their business prospects.

On Tuesday, just over a month before the Olympic Games are set to kick off, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government extended the state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and seven other prefectures to June 20. The state of emergency was declared on April 25 and has since been extended twice.

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