Photo: Gonpachi Facebook page
business

Global-Dining restaurant operator defies Tokyo government’s early closure request

71 Comments

The Global-Dining restaurant chain announced this week that it would defy the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s coronavirus special measures law and continue operating its 23 restaurants, including the izakaya-style eatery Gonpachi.

Restaurants in Tokyo have been asked to comply with early closure requests amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Global-Dining Inc President Kozo Hasegawa stated on the company’s website that their restaurants would continue regular business hours and not comply with the special measures law. One of the compelling reasons he cited was the inadequate support money from the Tokyo government.

The company previously voiced its support for the reduced business hours as a public safety measure. However, Tokyo’s third state of emergency declared on April 25 was issued as a preventative measure. Thus, the restaurant chain argues that the Tokyo government’s order is “a restriction on private rights” and “unacceptable under pre-emptive steps” to curb surging coronavirus infections.

On May 17, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government stated that at least 33 restaurants in the city had failed to comply with temporary business closures or shortened business hours during the state of emergency.

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71 Comments
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This is why the virus is so persistent here.

7 ( +35 / -28 )

Cool, I might just hop on the Shinkansen and visit the place on the weekend. I will be proud to support a business that does not fall for the fearmongering and cares about their employees livelihoods.

-11 ( +34 / -45 )

Restaurants in Tokyo have been asked to comply with early closure orders 

How can you be "asked" to comply with an "order"? You are ordered to comply with an order. You are asked to comply with a request.

33 ( +38 / -5 )

Good on 'em.

This government (and most others) continues to lie about everything to do with this virus (and pretty much everything else as well), so why listen to a thing they say or follow any of their orders/urges/requests/gentle nudges/veiled threats?

2 ( +32 / -30 )

I am one of the few fully-vax'd healthcare workers. I am happy to patronize this company, as I am sick and tired (pun?) of scurrying to feed before "last order" at 7pm!

6 ( +23 / -17 )

Yeah, being in hospitality now is equal with being poor.

Actually being in any industry other than working for government equals to being poor.

Subsidy? Yeah have fun trying to survive on that. I'm not surprised they go against it.

More problems ahead, as those people who used to work for restaurants won't come back. Why should they? And I wouldn't count on immigration , especially here in Japan.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

I am one of the few fully-vax'd healthcare workers. I am happy to patronize this company, as I am sick and tired (pun?) of scurrying to feed before "last order" at 7pm!

I was under the impression that most healthcare workers in Japan were getting sick and tired of desperately trying to take care of thousands of people sick or dying from Covid 19 in overstretched hospitals.

Interesting to note that your main concern in this regard is the inconvenience of having to order dinner out before 7PM.

21 ( +31 / -10 )

@El Rata

Enjoy Gonpachi!

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

Enjoy Gonpachi!

Cheers! Everyone who's not afraid should do the same, not everyday you encounter a business that's willing to stand against this nonsense that's driving average people into poverty.

-16 ( +18 / -34 )

Cheers! Everyone who's not afraid should do the same, not everyday you encounter a business that's willing to stand against this nonsense that's driving average people into poverty.

and this how covid variants emerge ...

14 ( +30 / -16 )

 I will be proud to support a business that does not fall for the fearmongering and cares about their employees livelihoods.

Its not the employees livelihoods this guy cares about, it’s his own bank balance.

I highly doubt they pay their workers any higher than the absolute bare minimum wage they’re legally required to pay them.

16 ( +30 / -14 )

Which is better then the zero wage that people get paid to not work at a closed restaurant.

yet strangely, the rent and utilities are still due whether people get paid or not.

Got 2 masks and 100,000 yen once though. While paying 10 times than in monthly tax. Thanks government!

-7 ( +16 / -23 )

I see quite a few places that are open past 8pm - some of them just openly flaunt, while others just close the door and turn down the lights once 8pm hits. I'm still confused myself as to whether these directives have to be followed or not, and if not, apart from not being eligible for compensation, is there any other punishment?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Because a swift and proper lockdown and then a strict border control policy making sure that incoming travellers (especially those of Japanese nationality who have, until now, been allowed in willy nilly with zero true controls/tracking on their movement) should have been enacted from the very beginning. Short pain for long term gain.

Instead we have these hand wringing ineffective measures that hold businesses back over a long period of time.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

and this how covid variants emerge ...

agree 100%.

But in all fairness, if the gov is just targeting restaurants and bars, NOT closing schools and pushing for home schooling, NOT pressuring companies to let people work from home, NOT rolling out the vaccine in a timely manner, and finally still going ahead with the deadly Olympics, can we honestly blame these businesses when they claim that they are being unfairly targeted and begin to push back?

22 ( +26 / -4 )

Got 2 masks and 100,000 yen once though. While paying 10 times than in monthly tax. Thanks government!

If you are doing well enough that you are paying 1 million Yen a month in tax then yeah, you should be thankful.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Blacklabel - You're paying 1 million yen a month in tax??

I smell bovine ordure.

26 ( +30 / -4 )

Test case, let's see what happens

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes I am paying that much income tax, sadly. It’s one of those plus minus type situations for which I feel blessed but angry when my tax payments are misused.

So in return I have been feeding all my favorite bar and restaurant employees at my house for a change. Not like they can work or eat now thanks to these nonsensical government regulations.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

@rainyday

I was under the impression that most healthcare workers in Japan were getting sick and tired of desperately trying to take care of thousands of people sick or dying from Covid 19 in overstretched hospitals. 

Interesting to note that your main concern in this regard is the inconvenience of having to order dinner out before 7PM.

A person can be concerned about both, you know? And why would you want to deny someone a proper meal? Even in healthcare people take turns, it’s called “shifts”, ever heard of that? Just because there are sick people to take care of 24/7, doesn’t mean that any given worker has to work 24/7. Think a little before you post.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

@rainyday: Interesting to note that your main concern in this regard is the inconvenience of having to order dinner out before 7PM.

This is not my main concern.

All of the measures Japan has ever thrown against COVID19 are theater - and lame, at that.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I'm with you Blacklabel, it's sad that we have to pay so much. I would actually love to get my tax bill down to 1m/month. But we have to give back, an I like your idea of feeding the less fortunate, I might try that myself.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Under the laws of a SOE the government can (and should) close all these businesses. However, they do not have the power to penalize those who disregard the orders. That has to be passed through the diet which could take six months. You have all these people protesting the Olympics, but these rat bags that refused to follow the guidelines are much worse. Send the police around there and make them stop people entering and kick out all the patrons at curfew time.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

 I would actually love to get my tax bill down to 1m/month.

Well I would love to get my tax bill up to 1m/month and much much more

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Considering how non- proactive the government is, and putting the burden on the average Joe to prevent transmission, I can't blame people for defying the gov.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

 Send the police around there and make them stop people entering and kick out all the patrons at curfew time.

My wife told me as the SOE is not a criminal law, police have no power to do as you suggest. I have actually seen the coppers walk past bars still open (in Roppongi) at 11pm, and they they just kept walking. I'm not sure if it because the bar has some type of "arrangement" with them or they just don't care.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the government response were effective people would be more inclined to suck it up but there is still no end in sight here in Japan. Coronavirus isn’t the only thing that affects people’s lives

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Operation Dinner Out’s a go!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Let's just all agree that the government has lost support.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

So, the coronavirus transmission is higher after 8pm? Where is the science that backs up those theories?

Not just Japan, but the governments around the world are not basing much of the shutdown regulations on science. The US has seen lower transmission rates and deaths, the more the country has opened up. The governments around the world are really picking winners and losers with arbitrary shutdown measures only on certain businesses.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

If these idiots want to risk getting sick it's their right to do so, but it's not their right to put others at risk due to their own selfish indifference to the danger they may present to others. Personally, I hope they and their families don't get sick, but it doesn't look like anything short of coming down with Covid-19 will make most of them - or most of you - reexamine their sense of entitlement.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Good on him. I know other places open too. The compensation for complying with the 'request to comply' is derisory. To add insult to injury, not being able to serve Alcohol is crippling to many establishments in terms of profit.

If you pay the restaurants 75-80% of their average monthly average in the two years leading up to March 2020 and pay the same to their staff then that might be incentive to close.

In any case, anywhere that is serving Alcohol is full to the rafters. Not exactly the way to stop infection spreading.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I like that the Japanese government does not have emergency powers.

If businesses cannot cooperate during a pandemic and claim "private property rights" as the reason why, do not be surprised if the government decides to change the constitution to bring in lots of new powers.

I would expect these new powers to be very nasty and go way beyond not respecting "private property rights" of bar owners during a pandemic. Bars having to close at 8pm during an emergency is a small price to pay for not having a Kenpeitai equivalent sitting there ready to shut down all forms of dissent. We have been there before, so let's learn from history.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@expat - A lot more people will end up topping themselves than dying from Covid if they can't work! It's not a sense of entitlement. Compensate properly and then fair enough.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

You're paying 1 million yen a month in tax??

I smell bovine ordure.

Yeah, people who pay 1 million yen in tax per month usually have much, much better things to do than to hang out around comment boards on the internet.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Got 2 masks and 100,000 yen once though. While paying 10 times than in monthly tax. Thanks government!

Huh? What the heck kind of job you in?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Global-dining is only doing openly what many other places are doing "secretly". It will be interesting to see if actual consequences come or if the government accepts the measures its "suggesting" are meanigless.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The chain should double down and have the government charged for obstruction of business

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It is inspiring to see a Japanese company bucking authoritarianism. #resist

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Only salaried workers pay high taxes

If your paying a million yen, I suggest you change accountants

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If contact tracing following a spike of infections leads directly to that restaurant, I know who will get the blame first and foremost.

Bars having to close at 8pm during an emergency is a small price to pay for not having a Kenpeitai equivalent sitting there ready to shut down all forms of dissent.

This. As much as the government shares a big chunk of the blame for various failures in dealing with this pandemic, it's also because of idiots like that owner that the problems will carry on and may well become bigger down the road.

In the province I live in, a gym owner defied public health's orders. The result of that defiance was a spike of new cases in the entire region, all tracable to that gym. The mayor of the city was not shy in ripping that gym owner a new one with some strong sarcasm in a press conference.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think I foresee a health inspection.....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I went there for dinner, it was pretty good.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Yup, because money trumps human lives every day of the week, brother. Money corrupts morals.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hope the food is better than the photo.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That’s what the Government gets when they put half asked rules in place. I actually done blame this company, and I heard some businesses who are not abiding and get named and shamed, are getting free advertising like this article.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good on them! I will be visiting and supporting their defiance!

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

LOL. This guy wants to be Mr. toughguy. I bet you back him in a corner he will cry like a littlr baby.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

El Rato:

Cool, I might just hop on the Shinkansen and visit the place on the weekend. I will be proud to support a business that does not fall for the fearmongering and cares about their employees livelihoods.

Hey, where do you live? Because I hear they also have a branch on the other side of Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I pay over 1 million yen a month in taxes. I don't work..other people work for me.  I have 24 hours a day 7 days a week to do what I want...

Only salaried workers pay monthly taxes, deducted from their pay.

If you don't work, you don't have a salary, you get your accountant to sort your taxes and send in a tax return, and you settle once a year.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And they have every single right to stay open, and people to go in there, not wear masks, drink alcohol, and be loud and have fun, so long as it is not against the law. And since the government won't MAKE laws and will just ask people to do something, they are perfectly within their right to simply say, "No, thank you," minus the thank you, if they choose as well. I said this on another thread, but a friend of mine, who runs a yakitori, said he still has not received any assistance money from the FIRST State of Emergency, in April 2020. He has complied this time as well but says he's thinking he won't be able to reopen this time, especially if it looks like it'll close again soon after.

I'm all for the government making legislation to enact strict measures, including punishments for offenders, but the also have to provide assistance in order that people comply and stay home. Maybe stop talking about expensive Aegis weapons systems, and cancel the Olympics to save what you can... for starters? The money is there, the government just needs to stop spending in on things no one needs or wants.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It’s not really the government. It’s the patrons who frequent these places knowing full well there is a pandemic and they should be at home.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Cool, I might just hop on the Shinkansen and visit the place on the weekend. I will be proud to support a business that does not fall for the fearmongering and cares about their employees livelihoods.

I couldn't agree more, I might jot up there myself with the family to support this business.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Certain specializations of IT, certain consulting roles, commission based employment based on product sales to clients, executive recruiting. all at the proper level of experience/certs/education with correct languages ability can get you to that horrible tax bracket.

I eat out as much as possible to support the local places that are struggling to stay open. I like the places and the people. Least I can do.

Huh? What the heck kind of job you in?

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

How does it help for you to come to a restaurant once everything opens back up expecting a seat? They need you now. Don’t be a “fair weather” friend.

I know I have a table for life at a couple places now.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

It’s not really the government. It’s the patrons who frequent these places knowing full well there is a pandemic and they should be at home.

My guess is not many do. The headline photo is years old.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

On May 17, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government stated that at least 33 restaurants in the city had failed to comply with temporary business closures or shortened business hours

Ha I haven't left my East Tokyo station in ages and I know of at least 5 places that are open and selling alcohol. There must be hundreds, if not thousands, across the city.

Can't say I blame them - if office workers can't tear themselves away from their offices enough to reduce the crush on the trains, it's a bit unreasonable to ask restaurants to take all the responsibility.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Capitalists running wild because they can. This is what morons like to call "democracy".

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They can do whatever they want, however I will personally not go to such places with tons of people inside. I will rather go to small izakayas close to my house and support the ones who are the most affected with those measures than basically “industrial” izakaya. Been to Gonpachi once, it is touristy place and nothing special. La Boheme, which is operated by the same group is similar thing.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Utter morons. Both the restaurant and those who go there. Selfish

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

They can do whatever they want, however I will personally not go to such places with tons of people inside. I will rather go to small izakayas close to my house and support the ones who are the most affected with those measures than basically “industrial” izakaya.

Depends how small you are talking about. The really small individual or family ones actually benefit since they collect 6-man per day and nobody cares if they stick to the rules or not. In some cases the 6-man is more than they earn on a normal day.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Which is why my spouse and I are traveling like crazy and supporting small restaurants with lights off outside but open on the inside. In Tottori now and zero cases of covid.

Life is short folks. Live it.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Life is short folks.

And it's even shorter once you catch covid-19 and die from it! Ask Shimura Ken what he thinks about it. Wait, you can't, he's dead from covid. But obviously a lot of people would rather eat out and travel than think about vulnerable people around them, or how prolonging a pandemic is much worse on the economy than any short-term SOE or lockdown.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Disgraceful.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

It doesn’t play a role, because the virus loads of you and the surrounding people have to be summed up and be taken into consideration. Where do you want the viruses placed that you breath out, and where do you want to be exposed to the virus loads all the other people breath out? Your decision only, not mine, not the government’s. Workplace, office, commuter train wagon, restaurants like those named above, your home? Decide for yourself. If those restaurants are all closed, then you have more viruses to stand when commuting or at home. If you are all the time at home, you are surrounded by less viruses, only your’s and family member’s, but for 24 hours and also collected in your air conditioner filters. And if you go to that restaurant, they’re collected there, in their air conditioning and consumed by other guests, at the cost that you are also exposed to some more persons than at home. Your decision. But on average, there’s not much risk to lose or advantage to gain.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Cut off the power & water.

Problem Solved.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Gonpachi 権八 as well as Oreryu Shio Ramen 俺流塩ラーメン. The two shops in Nakameguro is packed after 20:00 as the only restaurant in the area still open for seating at that time.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good for them! There is no point in making restaurants close early. If they really want to stop the spread of the virus, they should shut all train services. I’m entirely sure the packed trains are a bigger spreader of the virus than restaurants

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Good to see you having a 'Good Time' Thomas. Idiot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All businesses and jobs are essential. If businesses can't open then owners and employees cannot support themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Defy! Good on that restaurant. How many people pass through a typical restaurant in a day compared to the number of people who sit in a single car on the Yamanote line? How much closer do passengers sit near other passengers on those trains? Any plastic shields separating them? Everyone keeps their masks on correctly the entire time?

Paying about 400,000k a month in taxes myself, and know people paying much much more, so Blacklabel is entirely believable. And so I will go out and eat where I want, when I want, and if I am told the restaurant has to close early but they will stay open later if my party of four orders X amount minimum, will gladly do so. I am fully vaxxed so I feel safe, and rather than navigate through a crowded train station and sit in a packed train shoulder to should with who knows who, I will taxi home with just me and the driver, separated by our masks and the plastic shield.

Imagine if the common people of Japan had the courage of that restaurant owner, and refused to commute to work everyday. How much of an improvement would Japan see if the trains shut down for a week?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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