ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Coronavirus

Tokyo area extends nightlife curbs 3 more weeks to April 21

Tokyo Gov. Koike warns of another uptick in COVID-19 cases

Empty tables at a restaurant in Tokyo: many establishments in the Japanese capital have been operating under reduced hours since November.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures will ask restaurants, bars and other establishments to reduce their hours for three more weeks until Apr. 21 in a bid to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus cases.

Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures had asked such businesses to close by 9 p.m. until Mar. 31. But their governors in a Wednesday teleconference agreed to extend the request, citing the start of the new school and fiscal year in April as possibly leading to a surge in parties and other gatherings.

The move comes as Japan's greater capital region grapples with how to ease business restrictions after a coronavirus state of emergency was lifted earlier this week.

"It's important for us to come together to encourage basic infection prevention efforts," Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said.

Restaurants and bars that cut hours as requested used to receive 60,000 yen ($550) a day for cooperating under the state of emergency. They now receive 40,000 yen a day, and will continue to receive these payments after Apr. 1.

Governors from Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama discussed their coronavirus response on Mar. 24. (Photo by Sho Fujita)

"To ensure our accomplishments up to this point don't end in vain, we will stay focused and ask for continued cooperation," Saitama Gov. Motohiro Ono said.

Tokyo in particular began asking businesses to cut hours in November, dealing a heavy blow to restaurants, bars and other businesses that depend on a bustling nightlife.

Still, concerns persist of a rebound in infections in the greater capital region. Tokyo logged an average of 309.7 new COVID-19 cases a day for the seven days through Wednesday, up 3.6% from the week prior.

"We are experiencing an uptick in new positive cases," Koike said in a meeting with the Tokyo metropolitan government's coronavirus response team.

Meanwhile, infections have increased in other urban areas in Japan, with Miyagi Prefecture in the northern Tohoku region logging a record 171 new daily cases on Wednesday. The city of Sendai is launching drive-through COVID-19 tests on Thursday.

Establishments that serve alcohol in the city of Yamagata, also in Tohoku, will be asked to close by 9 p.m. starting Saturday.

Additional reporting by Kotaro Itsuki in Sendai and Sho Asayama in Yamagata

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more