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License to swill: Japan takeout rule a boon for struggling bars

Over 11,000 apply in two weeks as restaurant sales plunge

A restaurant in Tokyo advertises its new takeout option for wine. (Photo by Shihoko Nakaoka)

TOKYO -- More than 11,000 bars and restaurants in Japan have applied for a temporary license for liquor takeout, designed to help ease the blow of the coronavirus outbreak on business.

Japan has declared a state of emergency that could last until at least June as a way to slow the spread of the virus. Under the state emergency, people has been asked to stay at home and all non-essential businesses have been asked to make adjustments, such as limiting hours or closing completely.

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