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Japanese media reports have estimated up to 40% of bars and restaurants in some parts of Tokyo are flouting anti-virus measures that restrict them from selling alcohol and require them to close by 8 p.m. What do you think of this?


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I agree with these bars and restaurants.

Closing them at 8pm and no serving alcohol is the biggest nonsens I ever heard, especially when coffee shop are open, companies force their employees to come to the offices, Olympics and other sport events are held, Disney is still open and so on...

What is the different between a bar and a coffee shop, if groups of young women packed the coffee shops from morning to evening, laughing and giggling during telling their Love Stories to each other?

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Everyone harps on the need for people to act on behalf of the good of society and that's a reasonable argument to an extent. That said if 'society' truly deemed wining and dining as an existential threat, those establishments would be on the fringe. Since they aren't and many are doing quite well (some of these places are quite expensive), it would indicate that society infact values this ability to enjoy life more than it values repressive government dictations or fear based coercion to conform to abnormally enforced social norms.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If they started off by following requests to close early / not serve booze / both, then I can see why they're getting cheesed off with these endless follow-ups and likewise, I would understand if they started feeling like they were being singled out, just for trying to earn a living.

I often tell my friends that while the UK (my neck of the woods) could learn a lot from Japan, the reverse is also true, and that the Japanese could stand to learn a bit about civil disobedience and political cynicism rather than the shrugging "shou ga nai" mentality which seems to be baked into their DNA.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The 'shoganai' attitude towards government edicts disguised as requests is exactly why there hasn't been stricter enforcement here. The Japanese government has openly admitted that Japanese public's tendency to fall in line is why so many ARE complying with whatever inane new rules are gently imposed. If society had more if a western individualistic tilt, the oppression would be much worse. Like vaccine passports and the like. But these restaurants and bars are proving that all of society doesn't follow the same lines even here in Japan. There will always be huge segments that quietly disagree with the mainstream and want to have the choice to peacefully dine out as they always have. One thing is true about Japanese society, they love food and booze.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Wife's friend works at a restaurant and tonight, the boss (tencho) has organized a party for all staff members for a grand old banquet at a lobster restaurant(!). She knows she should not go, but says if she doesn't, the boss may punish her through giving her fewer shifts.

This is what happens when the govt "asks" rather than "orders" in a national emergency. Some people in Japan's restaurant/bar industry should be in jail.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Pay them PROPERLY to close - including 80% of staff wages, then they might comply. It's not hard.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Doesn't your wife have the choice to work at a restaurant that better respects her values? Why should her boss be punished based on her preference? If she doesn't want to go, she shouldn't go. The disparity here is people thinking there should be mandates put in place to protect them from their perceived threats.

In the not too distant future, the rationale behind all these mandates on public and private life will be forgotten as a public health measure and rather be a precedent for stricter control over everyday life.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Pay them PROPERLY to close - including 80% of staff wages, then they might comply. It's not hard.

And don't make it practically impossible to claim compensation for lost business ("please fill out and hanko the following 454679408469406 forms, in triplicate, then fax them one at a time to the following number, between 15:00 and 16:00 every eighth of the month excluding months beginning with "M" or "J")

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Fighting this virus pandemic in general needs commitment from everyone, abiding to rules and countermeasures and vaccination efforts. But this special rule is surely not very effective and decisive to bring visible or significant results. Very most of those small places , bars, pubs, restaurants etc, have very good hygiene concepts, social distance and other measures installed, in comparison to many other places. It makes not so much sense to punish them so harsh and economically or put too many restrictions on especially only on them. There are really much bigger potential clusters anywhere else, also some operating after 8p.m.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Limit alcohol ordering to people with vaccine passports that would surely boost vaccination rates.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

People saying "pay them to close" show an significant lack of understanding in how things work. You're asking the government to use tax revenue to encourage businesses to close or limit earnings thus putting a strain on taxable income and profits. Have you been completely brainwashed? Who pays for businesses to close? The taxpayers! How can you collect taxes if businesses are closed? Which is exactly why some parts of the world are pushing for health passes. They know it's futile to close down the economy and subsidize doing nothing.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

No lack of understanding at all @jeffb There will 4-5 Generations paying for this Pandemic. I agree with you thought, it's futile. Just pointing out that is the only way you will prevent restaurants and bars operating. Personally, I'm not bothered. I still go out to eat and drink - not in large groups mind.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What else are they supposed to do to stay alive?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Confused by your response @Sven Asai. I thought you wanted EVERYTHING closed down for 71 days in a military controlled lockdown!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The priority should be to get life back to normal for the majority of people. Instead of asking the country to stay-at-home, just ask them to work-at-home and allow them to maintain their social and cultural lives. It is ridiculous that the Olympics are going ahead when most sports centres are closed.

So in line with this view, these bars are in the right for staying open, and patrons should still keep visiting them. The government needs to accept that the Paralympics should be cancelled and there needs to be alternative measures to prevent further spread.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't blame them - the scapegoating of bars and restaurants has been disgusting. It's completely unreasonable to ask one specific sector of the economy to make all of the sacrifices, whilst other sectors are allowed to carry on regardless.

I'm sure we all have a list of stories about this nonsense, but I personally know several Japanese companies who are bringing in staff specifically to have small group meetings which could easily be conducted by zoom; I know a university which insisted a teacher come to work after he called them and said "look, my wife and child are running fevers, the doctor wouldn't give them corona tests because they don't appear to be dying, but I think it might be better if I don't come in, what do you think?"; Fuji Rock is happening; the Olympics went ahead, albeit without crowds; lots of summer festivals and sports days are inexplicably going ahead; soccer and baseball have crowds.

As a society we either need to decide that we are ALL going to curb our activities, or that we are ALL going to be allowed to decide for ourselves. If I was a restaurant owner I would be furious.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What is the difference between serving alcohol, tea, water, coffee? And all liquids in general? And what's the difference between having an establishment open for a shorter period of time and more people trying to catch an early closing time on the Tokyo subway, for example? Sometimes it wouldn't hurt if our legislators thought first before they produce anything. You know - like common sense, or that A is followed by B..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, I think in reality the number is closer to 80% rather than 40%. The number of restaurants they observed was just a few hundred, after all. And this has been the case for over a year now, at least in Tokyo.


I agree with these bars and restaurants.

Closing them at 8pm and no serving alcohol is the biggest nonsens I ever heard, especially when coffee shop are open, companies force their employees to come to the offices, Olympics and other sport events are held, Disney is still open and so on...

What is the different between a bar and a coffee shop, if groups of young women packed the coffee shops from morning to evening, laughing and giggling during telling their Love Stories to each other?

For once, Monty, I can agree with you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I see and hear old and young ladies with very loud voices on trains, planes, and in coffee shops. What is the difference between drinking coffee and having a beer during lunch?

The guy drinking a beer with his lunch is quiet, finishes and leaves. These loud well dressed noisy women are cackling and screaming with masks down spending hubby's hard-earned cash and spreading germs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese government barely admit that covid have human-to-human transmission, and becomes shocked whenever there's a cluster, saying they do not know the reason.

When the government refuse to acknowledge that a virus have capable human-to-human transmission, how are they going to come up with policies to prevent it?

I mean this is the government that says that there is zero risk on packed trains, packed concerts, packed sports stadiums, packed theatres, packed classrooms, etc. The government's own guidances simply states

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think if they make store opening hours about 11am and close them at 2pm things will get much much better.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Government does not know what they are doing. Why listen to them?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not having been supplied sufficient support from the government, it is natural for them to feel resentment to the government's request and show disrespect for that. It's like a person who utilizes stick without giving carrot to the other. Even though the government have supplied 300 billon yen in total so far, majority of business owners do not satisfied with the treatment. To make matters worse, many of them have not yet receive the total amount of monetary assistance. To which place was the 300 billion support sent? I'm so interested in consult the official document which shows the process of supplying the monetary fund. However, most of the part would be blacked out as always.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The focus is totally wrong is what I'm thinking.

Lovely Japanese media. Always loyal to the government and don't dare scratching the surface.

I think they're not asking the right questions. Perhaps they think society will collapse and we will back in tribal times because when its so easy to pull the rug away under the government. The loser in this masquerade is always going to be the average citizen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is no law demanding compliance for a suggestion thought about, and being contemplated by old men with fax machines, they do not know how to use anyway.

Japan has real constitutional rights, unlike those Americans who think they have a constitutional right to not wear a mask...there is no amendment to that, but the Japanese constitution is powerful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think all the bars, shops and gyms should just go back to normal hours but require mask wearing, hand sanitizer etc and social distancing as much as possible.

Why? Well, clearly the Japanese government is composed of rich guys. They have no understanding of what it has been like for bars/restaurant owners and employees working in the gig economy. The hypocrisy is awful. We will host the Olympics but you must all stay home and close your businesses. We will expect you to stay home in your holiday, but make zero effort to reduce crowded trains or close schools. The Japanese government are totally useless, clueless and anybody that listens to a word they say deserves everything they get.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish more of the bars in my area did flout the restrictions. Yeah, let's hold an Olympics here but not allow people to drink alcohol in restaurants. The government lost all credibility with that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I say that until it is mandatory, by law, then good on them. I have a friend who is still waiting for the assistance money from the 2020 SOE, and he said he'll probably never get it, and if he has to close his izayaka again he'll go out of business (he does close at 8:00, though).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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