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The restaurants, izakaya pubs and bars that emerge from Japan's COVID crisis will have to make do with fewer revelers as Japanese demographic and cultural shifts spell more trouble ahead for the hospitality industry.    © Illustration by Hiroko Oshima
Asia Insight

Japan's 'izakaya' pubs buckle under COVID alcohol prohibition

Deprived of salarymen and tourists, worst is yet to come

NANA SHIBATA, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- Kiyotaka Nishimura has closed the doors for good on the 14-seat wine bar and restaurant that he and his wife, Makiko, operated in suburban Tokyo for about 10 years.

Call General Warrant, which offered a contemporary and casual dining ambience, a COVID casualty. It closed in late March, 10 days after Japan came out of its second COVID state of emergency, and the Nishimuras have since moved to Ayabe, a rural town in Kyoto Prefecture, where they plan to take up mountain management and do some hunting.

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