Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, center, speaks at a news conference in a live broadcast shown on a big screen as people walk along a street filled in restaurants and bars in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo on Thursday night. Photo: AP/Hiro Komae
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No shouts of joy among eateries, theaters despite state of emergency lifting

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They are not overjoyed with good reason. Like with other economic crises, these institutions and their workers will deal with the impacts of debt and precarious employment for years.

And the government will lift the SOE in name only, having not been directly impacted and deciding that workers did not need to be subsidized in the pandemic.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I took a walk through Yoyogi park yesterday and noticed that they fenced off about 50% of the park. This only lowers the amount of space that people can use, not the amount of people in the park... who thought of this ridiculous idea?

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Honestly, I notice very little difference. The Japanese are mostly very good about masking but how do you keep 28 million residents distanced from one another? For example, at the airport the chairs are alternately closed off from sitting and yet when it's time to board everyone lines up like the good citizens they are. Eateries are mostly open anyway and I strongly suspect that the masks come off at the thousands of hostess bars open nightly in Tokyo and elsewhere. The girls need to work and the rich boys are spoiled anyway with no thought to public safety. Just my observations and two cents. The real culprit here are the octogenarians who run this country with no foresight whatsoever. Where are the vaccines?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

There was no justification for ever telling anyone to close unless the government agreed to fork out 100 percent of income lost. And even then, the restaurants, hotels, cinemas, people, should have been free to do as they please. Go out, catch the virus, die, live, play tennis, drink, stay home, cower behind the front door. Up to you. I couldn't care less about it, personally, we’re all going to die eventually, once you get rid of that fear, this proxy virus becomes less of a big deal, just another nasty thing in a long line of nasty things that can kill us. And one will do eventually.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Only way to get things back to as before, is get the population vaccinated. That is quite obvious. So I can't see why the vaccination foot-dragging is being tolerated, especially with the olympics round the corner.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Yesterday at my work, me and my coworkers discussed about the finish of the SOE and if they will start to go back to Izakayas and Bars.

All of them denied.

Some said, they want to wait until they got vaccined.

Some said they will refuse the vaccine, because they are scared of side effects, and they want to wait a few months longer, before they go back to Izakayas.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@Monty - you are so right with this observation.

It is something the majority of posters on JT don't want to recognize for some reason. "Most" Japanese will be cautious regardless of the statements from the government. This approach over the past year has kept deaths and serious cases at a low level for such a high densely populated country. Residents maintained all of their freedoms with an economy that chugged on despite its battle scars. Things are going well here with vaccines on board soon to make things even better. Very optimistic.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

7:30pm: finish work

7:50pm: crowded train

8:25pm: arrive izakaya

8:30pm: last order

9:00pm: izakaya closed.

9:05pm: Chuhai and deep fried junk food outside the connivence store.

11:25pm: crowded train home.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

So... that means SoE will not be over on Sunday the 21st as "planned." Because the only "restrictions" during the so called SoE are asking restaurants and bars to close by 20:00.

Apart from that, were there any other restrictions, other than of course of the people needing to be told that we're in an emergency to in order for them to use common sense?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

they will continue asking restaurants and bars to close early until the end of March

What's happening at the end of March that makes this a deadline?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Roppongi Tamachi and Ginza show signs of an increasingly COVID impacted areas that is scary to experience if you have been here for the past 20 years. So many restaurants and clothing stores and niche store are out of business. The stores are boarded up and empty. Terrible to see.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Monty

You are right but you also know Japanese do not admit in public what they do, if it is seen negatively .

My coworker used to go to bars everyday. He also says now he does not go anymore, drinking at home and going to the restaurant with only his wife. I have difficulties to believe he never go to drink in some bars anymore.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Breaking News:

” This isn’t over. “

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Important news for the world. From Sunday the virus has mutated in Japan and now becomes active after 9PM instead of 8PM . (What was that story yesterday about spreading in daytime karaoke - fake news)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hey, I've got a plan for you! Add a pachinko or karaoke part to your business. It'll be packed in no time. Oh and if you're somewhere in central Tokyo, how about adding something like kyabakura for those hard working politics?

Profit!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The extra hour of operation will have some impact for these businesses but ultimately, I don't think this means a whole lot. The SOE was a pretty lackluster "emergency", and until public confidence returns the operation hours won't really make a big change. My office isn't changing a thing prior to the start of the SOE for example.

I don't see things really changing for the better until the population is FAR more widely vaccinated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I took a walk through Yoyogi park yesterday and noticed that they fenced off about 50% of the park. This only lowers the amount of space that people can use, not the amount of people in the park... who thought of this ridiculous idea?

Crazy, but just go past/over the fence and enjoy the space. Parks are public space. We all have the right to use them.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Many bars and restaurants are looking down the barrel already now lifting the SOE funding will get cut back by the end of the month won't be there sad times for many operators.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There isn’t any rejoicing as most places ignored the guidance or have gone under...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But the governors of Tokyo and the three prefectures affirmed in a virtual meeting that they will continue asking restaurants and bars to close early until the end of March, while pushing back the time by an hour to 9 p.m.

What about financial handouts for these restaurants and individual staff members! These governors don’t think realistically ( as if closing the restaurants and bars at 8 or 9 decreases the infection rate )! There are more effective strategies that can be implemented to deal with corona infection rather than closing restaurants earlier!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Crazy, but just go past/over the fence and enjoy the space. Parks are public space. We all have the right to use them.

The orange fencing has been installed to prevent people from holding picnics/drinks under the cherry blossom trees. It's a temporary safety measure to halt the spread of the virus.

Please don't contribute to the pandemic by encouraging superspreaders and irresponsible behavior.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

At least the restaurants are open during the daytime, and for a period in the evening. They should be thankful that they can obtain some sales and income from that. There are a lot of businesses unable to earn anything now.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

lordoflys:

For example, at the airport the chairs are alternately closed off from sitting and yet when it's time to board everyone lines up like the good citizens they are.

Talking about the airport, I was departing from Haneda a while back. Yes, the airport was fairly empty compared to usual, but then we were made to line up closely at immigration - absolutely no social distancing. The immigration hall is huge, and yet some idiot decided to have the two sole immigration officers work at counters right next to each other, so the two lines were also nearly shoulder-to-shoulder. Unbelievable. And don't get me started on the plane. At only 10% capacity, idiots decided to put three strangers in the middle of the same row. I often wonder whether logic and common sense exist in this country.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

One possible reason for not being overjoyed, in Saitama at least, is that restaurants that have had to close at 8 have been entitled to compensation from the government. A small restaurant can get as much as 60,000 yen a day, more than they would make on a busy day in normal times.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A small restaurant can get as much as 60,000 yen a day, more than they would make on a busy day in normal times.

Sure, but there are also small restaurants that may not normally work those hours. They may be family run, or just done daytime trade only, and thus receive no money because their hours didn't change.

And with the state of emergency, besides not getting a lifeline, their customers may have faded away.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Until the virus is completely gone, there is always danger.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The orange fencing has been installed to prevent people from holding picnics/drinks under the cherry blossom trees. It's a temporary safety measure to halt the spread of the virus.

By reducing the overall space available, crowding is exacerbated. There is nothing "safe" about that "safety" measure, temporary or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s not like Japanese are social distancing anyway.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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