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Pandemic and social distancing deal blow to Japan's restaurants

Coronavirus-related bankruptcy cases reach 40 amid doubts over outbreak's end

Amid mounting uncertainty over how long the pandemic will last, more restaurants in Japan are closing their doors for good.  (Photo by Yuki Kohara) 

TOKYO -- Tomoyuki Utsuno, director-general at the Tokyo Food and Beverage Business Association, a trade group made up of nearly 8,000 restaurants and bars, has many people calling at his door these days.

Over the first four business days of April, dozens of restaurant owners have asked him for help. Utsuno said the number of people seeking loans has jumped tenfold to 45, as of April 6. Applicants have sought a total of 700 million yen ($6.4 million) in loans so far this month.

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