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No-booze lockdown leaves Japan's virus-hit eateries high and dry

New state of emergency drives Watami and other chains to temporarily close doors

Japan's ubiquitous izakaya, which serve small bites in addition to drinks, make about half of their revenue from alcoholic beverages.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's tipplers will have to go straight home after a long day at the office as restaurant and bar chains shut down in response to a third coronavirus state of emergency that begins Sunday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday declared a new state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, running to May 11, as COVID-19 cases rise in these areas.

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