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Restaurant chain operator sues Tokyo gov't over COVID opening hour restrictions

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is illegal and unconstitutional as it infringes the right to freedom of business

for heavens sake, in any country the frame of your « freedom » is set by the law. If the law says you must close because of a pandemic there is little you can do. These poor fellows are using the arguments of simpletons that believe they are free to do whatever they want and ignore the law: that’s anarchy by the way.

-1 ( +41 / -42 )

If the restaurant wants to stay open and customers want to visit then that is their business.

Everybody else MYOB and leave consenting adults alone.

Society is not a convent boarding school.

-15 ( +35 / -50 )

LovecraftingToday  06:53 am JST

is illegal and unconstitutional as it infringes the right to freedom of business

for heavens sake, in any country the frame of your « freedom » is set by the law. If the law says you must close because of a pandemic there is little you can do. These poor fellows are using the arguments of simpletons that believe they are free to do whatever they want and ignore the law: that’s anarchy by the way.

Simpletons? That’s very rude.

Could you tell us which “law” says you must close?

There was an edict, but edicts are not laws.

There has to be a basis in facts and arbitrary edicts are not how democracies flourish.

Can you show everyone here how many cases of Covid are attributed to being transmitted in a restaurant after 8pm?

8pm is an arbitrary time based on nothing and can only be considered a foolish edict. If an edict is issued that you can only wear red color clothing after 6pm when there is a pandemic, would you follow such a foolish edict without question?

Perhaps you will, but I suspect most of us will not.

18 ( +39 / -21 )

These poor fellows are using the arguments of simpletons that believe they are free to do whatever they want and ignore the law: that’s anarchy by the way.

It's your duty as a citizen to resist unjust laws. And that's nowhere near anarchy, by the way. An unbridled and unaccountable government is something worse than anarchy.

13 ( +33 / -20 )

I agree that the case is brought to court for handling. Though unsure of what verdict will actually be given, I think it would set a precedent for pandemic-restrictions on targeted businesses.

The order "took aim" at the company which publicly voiced its intention to disobey the request and "violated the equality under the law and freedom of expression," the plaintiff said.

Perhaps this is a key disputed point. Japan's corona responses have been non-legally binding, relying on voluntary acts of individual or social conformism which end up threatening many livelihood and lives. The plaintiff's "revolt" this time is valid.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

It's your duty as a citizen to resist unjust laws. And that's nowhere near anarchy, by the way. An unbridled and unaccountable government is something worse than anarchy.

And that is how a simpleton would analyze the situation: comparing the pandemic to a coup, comparing shooting people vs imposing shorter closing hours. Comparing any "attempt" on "freedom" as an authoritarian regime: that's what simpletons uses as an excuse to get what they want.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Some people earn their livelihood after 8 pm.

Why do they have to bear the brunt of these restrictions.

It's not fair.

11 ( +33 / -22 )

Good for them.

How they stick it to the J-gov't.

14 ( +30 / -16 )

Allowing "Mizu Shobai" places to open and then having them close as 9:00PM seems a bit arbitrary and capricious.

It seems like the lawmakers were sitting around a table and someone suggested, "Having these places open all night, might not look right. What do you guys think ?"

"Good idea. Let's have them close early"

"How about 9:00PM"

"Perfect, 10:00 might appear to be too late, 8:00 is too early......."

19 ( +24 / -5 )

8pm is an arbitrary time based on nothing and can only be considered a foolish edict. If an edict is issued that you can only wear red color clothing after 6pm when there is a pandemic, would you follow such a foolish edict without question?

Perhaps you will, but I suspect most of us will not.

What an idiocy to write. I maintain my statement of simpleton is again very appropriate here.

Under the revised law, businesses can be fined up to 300,000 yen if they do not comply.

I don't see any edict, the article mentions a "law", hello ?

Can you prove that not closing the restaurants after 8 PM had no effect at decreasing the daily numbers of infection from January to March ?

-20 ( +8 / -28 )

So they want Japan to become like the USA? High infection and death rate, but Profit over everything!!!

-6 ( +19 / -25 )

INTELLIGENT THINKING: We are living in a society of citizens who are directed by natural events and un-natural events like war and political upheaval. For a community to survive, we must all do what is best for all of the people. If you are hungry during a pandemic, stay home at night to avoid opening your mouth and talking and getting drunk and laughing in someones face giving or receiving COVID 19. How below the educational level do you have to be to not understand this? And for the restaurant that is trying to sue the Tokyo Government, if you win, you are taking tax dollars away from the same people you serve at your restaurants. Think people. Don't be selfish during a pandemic that has already killed thousands of people.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

It is an utterly stupid and self-serving argument for the restaurant chain to argue that because "No clusters have been found in our restaurants" therefore the requirement to close at a certain time is invalid. It's not just whether infection has been found in your restaurants, it's whether clusters could be found in your restaurants if measures aren't taken to minimize the chances of it. I can think of at least two incidents in my own country where people have been infected and sparked outbreaks just because they were sitting in a restaurant next to a table where a Covid-positive person was sitting. One of those people infected, by the way, worked in an aged care home run by the same organization running the home my mother was in, and only a complete lockdown across the state prevented a tragedy. So unless Japanese people are somehow biologically different from people elsewhere, there's no reason whatsoever to think that couldn't happen in Japan.

Incidents like that are what measures like Tokyo's are trying to prevent, or at least minimize given that an 8.00 pm curfew is neither here nor there when it comes to who might walk in carrying a virus that doesn't stick to curfews. The restaurant owners should be thankful they were at least allowed to trade for a part of the day, that complete lockdowns are not possible in Japan, and that the overall restraint and cooperation of the Japanese population with state of emergency orders appears to have avoided the worst of what has happened overseas.

2 ( +18 / -16 )

I think the way the govt words these restrictions keeps them from getting sued. They only urge people to do things and the silent understand is you better do it. Companies here are like this too.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Dango Bong, However the thing is, if you do not comply with the Japanese Governments thinking on the subject of closing early, you get fined by them.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Good some do fight the abusive demands.

I think some pachinko parlors have stayed open after 8 too

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Can you prove that not closing the restaurants after 8 PM had no effect at decreasing the daily numbers of infection from January to March ?

Can you prove it did have an effect? The onus should be there, because you need a good reason to drive people into bankruptcy and poverty and destroy an economy. No excuse is needed to allow people to make a living.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Of the 2,000 establishments, the Tokyo metropolitan government last Thursday ordered 27, of which 26 were Global-Dining outlets, to close by 8 p.m. until the lifting of the emergency declaration at the end of Sunday. The company complied with the order.

An important point to look at. There must be other businesses similar in form to Global-Dining or those NOT complying with the order. Why, on what ground did Tokyo pinpoint a particular group and not others?

Notice that the newly implemented law authorizes local governments to give penalty but NOT compensation programs. The latter is characterized as "charity" or "thank-you money" whose amount and provision processes can be lax and arbitrary, not legally-bound. There have arisen dissatisfied voices among affected businesses over unfair re-distribution policy corresponding to uniformed restrictions. The plaintiff team will probably fight over this issue.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Things could have been done much better. The gov could have passed laws specifying specific social distancing between diners, banning counters, made all tables enclosed booths, and pushing harder for more private rooms 個室. Measures like these would have gone a longer way in preventing infection rather than the arbitrary close by 8 rule.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

plexiglass without masks it not social distancing. A facade, just like their case

Public Health needs to be able to do their job.

This is what happens when you don't have a doctor in charge but just more windbag politicians.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

plexiglass without masks it not social distancing. A facade, just like their case

Public Health needs to be able to do their job.

This is what happens when you don't have a doctor in charge but just more windbag politicians.

Good point!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@lovecrafting

is illegal and unconstitutional as it infringes the right to freedom of business

for heavens sake, in any country the frame of your « freedom » is set by the law. If the law says you must close because of a pandemic there is little you can do.

Ummm, no. You're calling them simpletons whilst fundamentally understanding how the constitution works. The constitution sits above the law; all laws need to comply with the constitution. If citizens believe that a law breaks the constitution then they are perfectly entitled to test that in court. It happens all the time - there is literally another story about this on the front page of this website today.

Whether the restaurant chain is right or not (legally and morally) is another question entirely, but they absolutely have the right to challenge this in court, as do all citizens. THAT is what frames your freedom, here and in most democracies.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Ahem. you are MISunderstanding how the constitution works. It seems I was misunderstanding how keyboards work...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Judges are hand picked to ensure they follow "government values". This lawsuit has absolutely zero chance of winning. The restaurant chain knows this, they are just making a point, which in my opinion is a fair one. Large restaurants are getting hammered and taking the brunt of the damage over covid restrictions.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

So, they are not interested in joining together to beat this pandemic? Only interested in profits?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

If the government cant be bothered or doesn't see the need to quickly start mass vaccinations, why should restaurants have to close early?

Under the same principle, personally apart from half hearted mask wearing I am no longer following guidelines either.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

So they want Japan to become like the USA? High infection and death rate, but Profit over everything!!!

This is about people’s right to provide food for their families, pay rent and live a normal life like a human being.

You Sir are talking about the Japan government forcing the Olympics in a massive spreading worldwide pandemic.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

So, they are not interested in joining together to beat this pandemic? Only interested in profits?

Profit is what keeps people employed.

Sound terrible but that is reality.

My daughter's employer went under as their business depended on live events, she got a new job at half the salary because so many businesses had to close or reduce employees.

My son's company closed all retail locations and reduced staff by 90% retaining only their online presence he got sort of lucky being trilingual he was retained but fewer hours less pay working from home.

Those that have taken the biggest hit are those working in industries with the lower pays and least benefits.

My own business is basically dead I survive on savings a few online sales ( suspension of overseas delivery at the height of the pandemic caused more problems).

The companies cannot be expected to keep paying employees when they are closed.

No eviction protection was put in place by the government, not payroll help plan, nothing

My 2 Children live at home, their friends all recent graduates many lost their jobs, couldn't pay their rents resulting in having to move back to their parents if possible others I know are now doing day work living in daily rental rooming houses.

Reality is no income no payroll not jobs.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Many comments here are absurd. Look to the US and its death rate to judge what unlimited freedom means right now. Japan's society was almost functioning normally during the state of emergency. Nothing in comparison to the lockdown in other countries.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Didn't a group of younger doctors turned into a cluster of infections when they went on a nomikai at an izakaya last year at the beginning of all this? They got infected at the nomikai. Pretty sure that proves people could get infected while drinking at night.

On Feb. 13th and on January 31st there were drinking parties at bars and restaurants in Kutchan. And just following those drinking events, there were clusters of infections in town all traced to those establishments on those two specific nights. Also proof people lower their guard at those places.

Didn't Gonpachi refused to follow the request to close earlier throughout the entire SoE, just to close by 20:00 only 4 days before the end of SoE?

I hope they lose this lawsuit against Tokyo government. This chain surely sounds like some really selfish d...bunch.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

 If the law says you must close because of a pandemic there is little you can do.

I believe there is no law that states what you said. It's all on a volunteer basis. Technically he could sue and win.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Many comments here are absurd. Look to the US and its death rate to judge what unlimited freedom means right now

Why always us the USA?

Their is more to the world that just the USA.

Other countries put in place aid for those that lost income, payroll help to keep employees on the company rolls and getting paid until the business can start up again.

Canada gave those that lost jobs $2,000cnd a month, helped cover payroll for businesses that kept their employees, eviction moratorium, etc... What did the Japanese government do? A single ¥100,000 payment and 2 unusable masks. Some businesses got a fraction of what they lost and as in my case it took several months before even getting that tiny amount.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Eat, drink and be merry.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

good move thumbs up,more may follow...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

From the report, it's difficult to understand what grounds Global Dinning, Inc. is basing their filing on. Is it simply to say it's unjust for the government to put on this type of restrictions? The laws were clearly passed for the government to do so. If Global is claiming discrimination and targeting "taking aim", they need proof to support this.

"The plaintiff's lawyer Rintaro Kuramochi said imposing blanket restrictions without offering evidence that restaurants are a source of infections violates the freedom of business guaranteed under the Constitution."

There is significant data globally showing how confined indoor spaces where masks are not worn (inherently where people are eating and drinking) contribute to COVID-19 spread. Is "freedom of business" specifically guaranteed under the constitution? It's a stretch.

"The order "took aim" at the company which publicly voiced its intention to disobey the request and "violated the equality under the law and freedom of expression," the plaintiff said."

Does the plaintiff have proof to support this claim that the government "took aim" at the company?

Global Dining said in a release on Jan 7, "We cannot comply with the request to shorten business hours, given the current (insufficient) subsidies and support from authorities."..."No clusters have been found in our restaurants," he added."

Everyone is hurting, but the government is making tough decisions that balance public safety vs. economic health. Understand the economic pain for Global Dining. However, they should not be so selfish to put their customers at risk and must listen to the science. Their message seems to be:

"We need money. Our customers probably won't get sick and die...we think, even if the science data says otherwise. Regardless, it's an acceptable risk for our customers to take so we can keep our businesses open. Let's sue the government so we can do just that."

Choose your battles and fight when it makes sense!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Unconstitutional or otherwise, a matter for the court.

Tokyo metropolitan government, cannot take the risk. The pandemic variants, the Kent, UK covid in question is spreading at lightning speed across Europe.

The inevitable lockdowns have followed. Restaurants have had to close.

New variant of SARS-CoV-2 in UK causes surge of COVID-19   

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(21)00005-9/fulltext

Think carefully, Japan has in many ways avoided the significant economic and human costs.

Don't drop the ball now.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

With all of the talk and money going into contact tracing, can Lovecrafting or some other extraordinarily bright person please educate us simpletons and idiots with links to the data identifying how many Covid cases were contracted in restaurants open after 8PM and where all of the Tokyo infections came from?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Can you show everyone here how many cases of Covid are attributed to being transmitted in a restaurant after 8pm?

8pm is an arbitrary time based on nothing and can only be considered a foolish edict. 

Correct. Indoor dining should be prohibited at all hours, at the present time, with only takeout and delivery available. That would make much more sense as an effective way to help prevent the spread of Covid.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Reality is no income no payroll not jobs.

And the longer people refuse to take the proper precautions and do the hard things like shutdowns, the longer the suffering and sacrifices will have to go on.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Too many commenters on here don't understand how a constitution works...

The government can't just do whatever it wants, it has to follow the rules itself. The plaintiff argues the government overstepped it's constitutional limits when it ordered businesses to close under threat of a fine and the case will be examined for whether the order was actually permissible in the first place.

It's called 'rule of law' and if you don't like it please move to China as they operate the kind of government you seem to prefer

6 ( +9 / -3 )

8pm is an arbitrary time based on nothing and can only be considered a foolish edict.

It is based on the time most people go out and drink. This is pretty obvious. Stop pretending it is arbitrary.

If an edict is issued that you can only wear red color clothing after 6pm when there is a pandemic, would you follow such a foolish edict without question?

Perhaps you will, but I suspect most of us will not.

Do you think Japanese (and non-Japanese establishments I should add) would comply with such a foolish edict? They complied with the 8pm one because it made sense. Anyone telling you otherwise was just butthurt that they couldn't go out and drink at night.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@antiqusavings.

you are not alone. We are both in the same boat. Don’t give up,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Global Dining Inc claims the order "is illegal and unconstitutional as it infringes the right to freedom of business"

This joker really needs to read the fine print in the constitution. The government has every right to order businesses to close during a state of emergency. Case closed! Move on!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Canada gave those that lost jobs $2,000cnd a month, helped cover payroll for businesses that kept their employees, eviction moratorium, etc... What did the Japanese government do? A single ¥100,000 payment and 2 unusable masks. Some businesses got a fraction of what they lost and as in my case it took several months before even getting that tiny amount.

EXACTLY! Well said brother!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think the government has been reasonable during the pandemic and lawsuits like this will only encourage the government to bring in more draconian and bulletproof emergency powers.

fwiw, I reckon the much discussed time of 8pm was a sympathy move to let most restaurants stay open most of the time. A less sympathetic government would have closed all restaurants at all times, as we saw overseas. Would the restaurant sector have been happier with that?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The woman on the left is an expert in French law and big in Franco-Japan relations. From her bio:

Ayano is a lawyer admitted to the Tokyo and Paris bars. Ayano has a double Franco-Japanese culture and training. She works on all types of cases, litigation, transactions and cross-border investments between Japan and France, accompanying French or Japanese clients in their development on corporate law, commercial law and employment.

Ayano is a lecturer at the University of Keio (Tokyo) and teaches French public law.

She is the author of several articles on French law in Japanese legal journals.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the Olympics takes place as scheduled

How many athletes/coaches/support staff, can authentically be deemed not carrying a variant that could present an inherent risk to Tokyo’s population, 6,158 persons per square kilometer?

How many persons with underlining medical venerable threat to life, age another factor?   

What cost trumps risk?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That is risk to life?

Political necessity, economic, fiscal contractual liability?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sue away. I hope they win. The government is clearly overstepping their bounds.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The way the 'urged' businesses to close at 8pm completely lacked nuance and looks like the idea of someone who knows nothing about the real world. 60,000 yen has a very different meaning for a small with no employees and a large restaurant with 100 seats.

Having said that, there's no way a company this big cares the slightest about its employees' livelihoods. This is just a publicity stunt by a business with enough money to pay the lawyers and pull off this performance.

Businesses like hairdressers have been hit incredibly hard without a handout. People lost their loved ones due to lack of access to medical care. Resident non-Japanese got stuck abroad for no reason away from their families and livelihoods. These are the people that should be suing the government. Not a large corporation whose executives will be just fine no matter what.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Do the hustleToday  10:48 am JST

This joker really needs to read the fine print in the constitution. The government has every right to order businesses to close during a state of emergency. Case closed! Move on!

Show us that fine print before we move on, OK?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I know of one company that has 100 people working closely in a large office. Not one person has caught Covid over the whole of last year. The most likely cause of anyone getting infected with Covid or Flu is through touching items like door handles and various other items. Anyway, what happened to the common Flu over the last year ?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

in any country the frame of your « freedom » is set by the law. If the law says you must close because of a pandemic there is little you can do. These poor fellows are using the arguments of simpletons that believe they are free to do whatever they want and ignore the law: that’s anarchy by the way.

Eesh...where to begin? The conception of rights began not as things prescribed by law or granted by the king, but that exist in nature. America’s Constitution is perhaps one of the strongest reflections of this view—the people declare what powers the government has, with specific reminders that the government has no powers to define or infringe upon various natural rights. But we can also find these sentiments in various documents throughout history, stretching back at least to the Magna Carta.

You are, quite fundamentally, incorrect in your conception of rights and government. Yours is a view that a totalitarian government might take, but it is incompatible with most democracies, republics, and even some monarchies.

It’s plainly untrue that “there is little you can do” against the law. For one, this restaurant owner is doing it by filing suit to seek relief from an unjust application of the law. One could also lobby the legislature to change the law, support different candidates for government offices, or run for office.

One could also simply ignore the law, which millions of people in Japan do every day in various ways. Speed limit set absurdly slow on this road? Everyone just drives over the limit. The response of the police? To ignore the rule breakers within reason.

And, no, none of this constitutes anarchy. This restaurant owner is, within the law, filing suit to challenge government action. That is the very opposite of anarchy.

You have no reasoned argument to make, and so you resort to these labels like “anarchy” and “simpleton,” which are meaningless in the context you use them. You are merely making ad hominem attacks, not genuine arguments. Other posters are right to call you out for being obnoxious and offensive.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have more sympathy for the small mama san & papa san owned shops.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And the longer people refuse to take the proper precautions and do the hard things like shutdowns, the longer the suffering and sacrifices will have to go on.

And WHO is going to pay their rents, their food, etc...? Santa Claus, the fairy godmother?

I don't know about you, but I need clients to buy my work so I can pay bills.

My wife's employer needs to sell their products to pay her and other employees!

Where is that money going to come from? It sure isn't coming from the government.

More loans? No most can't even pay the loans they already have.

The Shotengai near my house has nearly half the street empty now, the only businesses still going are those where the owner owns the property they are located in.

The rest could no longer pay the rent, some had been there for decades.

Even the owners of those empty locations cannot rent even at a discount and now have no income but are expected to pay taxes based on the previous year's earnings.

The Japanese government was so focused on the Olympics and wasting money to keep that joke going but gave little or no help to small and medium sized businesses.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

There is no such thing as "COVID laws" in Japan or any other country...only loose interpretations of the constitution which power-mad oligarchs use to justify arbitrary lockdown edicts in the name of "safety".

In their own words, the point of this lawsuit is to "shine light on the impact of government-enforced anti-virus measures that it believes excessively hamper business operations and people's lives."

Whether or not this particular case has merit is irrelevant. What's important is that they chose to take a stand and this reader thinks they should be applauded for it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The owner of the restaurant seems to deem himself above and beyond the law. Nor does he hold in common the greater good. "The freedom of business", is nonsensical and devoid of meaning within the context of the law. It is a nuisance suit.

To inform the individual claiming only 100,000 yen and two unusable masks was the total of government response: 1,000,000 yen was available to those who had a reduction of income. Other mechanisms were employed to reduce public contact.

There is evidence, illustrated in studies that factually document the spread of the virus in dining establishments. The assertion of individuality, that deems the government has no power to declare emergencies according to law or establish via executive order or its equivalent, is an incredibly daft conclusion. There is overwhelming scientific research factually determining the contagious nature of the virus and the means for its spread that aptly illustrates Global Dining's facilities meet those criteria.

Mechanisms could have been emplaced that were incredibly draconian and resulted in a lockdown with fines and jail time. The government was fairly hands off and to a degree such was successful as the general population is very cooperative and held to protocols.

As for the assertion the government was issuing edicts and not lawfully mandated orders, illustrates a gross ignorance of the law.

Dining out during the height of a pandemic is beyond foolish. Encouraging such presents a danger to the general welfare. It is a pandemic, businesses will fail and people will suffer. How that came to unfold has to do with large factors of which industrial tourism is a key contributor. Institutional structures which have evolved over the past decades are the greater cause - what can be done immediately is temporary and needs to be respected, such as closing restaurants at 8:00pm in greater Tokyo. No matter how it impacts the profits and wealth of Mr. Hasegawa and his shareholders. To deem him selfish, is an understatement, his behavior is shameful and detached from reality.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I am not siding with anyone. Neither the restaurant chain or the government. But we all know how this will end in here - 申し訳ございません, 残念でした or so. In here, you can fight the government, but you'll always lose.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If I pay them 104 yen, will they go away?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Good. I hope they win.

If anyone's worried about getting the COVID by going to that restaurant, then .... don't go to the restaurant.

Besides, is COVID perfectly safe at a restaurant at 7:59 pm but then suddenly become deadly one minute later?

If you're a healthy, non-obese, non-elderly person, your chances of dying in an accident on the way to the restaurant are probably higher than dying from COVID. And that's if you even get the virus at all.

I understand COVID is no joke and we need to take it seriously. But not to the point where we treat it like radiation and adopt the totally idiotic view that we are all at EQUAL risk of dying from it. We most definitely aren't.

If the government is going to shut down your business, it should compensate you for ALL your losses. Not just give you a pittance of a "subsidy" that doesn't even begin to cover what the government forced you to lose.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

If the establishments are making their restaurants safe for customers then I am inclined to support businesses. However, I have seen quite a few not doing anything at all to make their places safer, so I will not support them.

On the other hand, the government is just as incompetent as some of these business. If they are not assisting businesses with clear policies and details on how to comply with safety procedures based on actual evidence then it is understandable that business are breaking rules. The governments confusing plans and unclear messages makes it hard for businesses that want to comply.

I have no sympathy for either side. Uniformed idiots continue to vote for uninformed idiots!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Look to the US and its death rate to judge what unlimited freedom means right now. Japan's society was almost functioning normally during the state of emergency. Nothing in comparison to the lockdown in other countries

The U.S. is an example of unlimited freedom, and yet Japan has remained almost fully functional, in contrast with the draconian lockdowns elsewhere...such as in the U.S.? Those three sentences are a string of logical contradictions.

Most of the U.S. has been under severe lockdowns for a year, hardly a poster image for unlimited freedom. During the past year, Japan has been vastly more free.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Dining out during the height of a pandemic is beyond foolish. 

If that's what you think, you are perfectly free to stay home.

But don't dictate to the rest of us what to do or not do, based on your factually baseless conclusions.

Let's set the emotions aside, not to mention the excuse-to-control-others rhetoric involving "the greater good." And let's look at the facts.

This virus has almost zero chance of killing you unless you are (a) elderly, (b) drastically overweight, or (c) dealing with serious health issues.

Those are the facts.

We should be focusing our efforts on protecting people in those above-mentioned categories. And not on issuing sweeping, blanket, one-size-fits-all, draconian measures that idiotically assume that we are all at EQUAL risk of dying from this virus.

Treating everyone as being at equal risk of death is wasteful. It takes valuable time, effort, money, and resources away from where it should be mainly focused -- on those who MEDICAL SCIENCE have determined to be the most vulnerable.

When that airliner went down in the Hudson River some years ago, rescuers who arrived in boats first rescued the people on the wings. They did not rescue the people on the wings and the people in the plane's life rafts at the same time. That's because the folks on the wings were in much more danger. The people in the raft were in a much safer position.

Same thing with the COVID. Healthy, non-obese, non-elderly people are in a much safer position. So let's stop treating them as being at equal mortality risk. They simply aren't.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Let the mud slinging begin!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wobot- right on the money.

And there's no science behind shutting down restaurants, shops, etc. Still, Japanese small businesses fared better than some of their U.S. counterparts. In some States, many small businesses were killed by local government corruption or incompetence, while the big corporations were allowed to profit from the pandemic.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

What is Global Dining? It isn't a local dining establishment independently owned and operated.

Global Dining is a management company. It has 239 employees. It's stock was at a low of 110 Yen in April and now is at a high of 328 Yen. It's return on capital, equity and assets is subpar. Gross profit margin is negative 8.23%. Gross income growth is negative 147.45%. The market within which Global Dining operates is estimated, by Berkshire Hathaway to decline approximately 10% between 2020 and 2024.

Global Dining is a corporation, not a restaurant. Earnings have declined by almost 70% over the past five years.  Debt to equity ratio has increased from 33.3% to 99.2% over the past 5 years.  Debt to equity ratio (99.2%) is considered high. It's assets do not cover its long or short term liabilities.

Kozo Hasegawa, the owner, is a millionaire. Who presides over a company, not a restaurant that has been in decline and now has suffered impacts from the pandemic. The legalities engaged in seem more a reflection of its ongoing decline and not some convoluted intent to invoke the 'freedom of business'.

Perhaps the journalists who write about such should dig a little deeper, which is easily accomplished.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@mikeslikeit

Eesh...where to begin? The conception of rights began not as things prescribed by law or granted by the king, but that exist in nature. America’s Constitution is perhaps one of the strongest reflections of this view—the people declare what powers the government has, with specific reminders that the government has no powers to define or infringe upon various natural rights. But we can also find these sentiments in various documents throughout history, stretching back at least to the Magna Carta.

ROFL what ?

Yours is a view that a totalitarian government might take, but it is incompatible with most democracies, republics, and even some monarchies.

I mentioned some who would reduce imposing restrictions on a pandemic as an authoritarian regime, whichever finery you want to put up in the words you use, it's the same reduction as a simpleton would do. You just do it with much more classy flashy wordings to give you an apparel of wisdom.

It’s plainly untrue that “there is little you can do” against the law.

Because of a pandemic, state of emergency, you are obviously voluntarily taking away the context of this article.

And, no, none of this constitutes anarchy

When you feel you have the freedom to do whatever you want and ignore the law, this is anarchy: rejecting authority and do things on your own accord.

You have no reasoned argument to make, and so you resort to these labels like “anarchy” and “simpleton,” which are meaningless in the context you use them. You are merely making ad hominem attacks, not genuine arguments.

Ah you should have said so earlier that you had no intent to discuss. Your arguments are off topic and would better befit a passionate philosophical (the art to use time to better waste it) debate among idealists.

Now I suggest you check article 12 and 13 of the constitution and review the inspiration of your poetry

Other posters are right to call you out for being obnoxious and offensive.

Sure they are, simpletons hardly accept being told the truth, as cruel as it may be, but a truth that is void of idealism, which is the bias lens through which you are looking at the case.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What was that expression from the 1930's - "You can't fight City Hall"?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Lovecrafting,

You’re still not making an argument and are mainly resorting to straw man and ad hominem fallacies. Stop calling names and start saying something meaningful.

When you feel you have the freedom to do whatever you want and ignore the law, this is anarchy: rejecting authority and do things on your own accord.

This is the one sentence where you get past name calling, but it’s still a straw man. No one in the article or in any post is advocating what you say. Filing a suit in a government court is not anarchy. Your definition is anarchy is wrong, and a restaurant owner applying to the courts for relief doesn’t even fit within your flawed definition.

It is completely legal and respectful of the rule of law to file a suit to protest perceived government overreach. Whether you agree with the action or not, it is not anarchic behavior. Working within the legal courts is the extreme opposite of anarchy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

What a great publicity stunt from Global Dining! A masterstroke!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ironically, Global Dining or other chains couldn't even file lawsuit so long as the curbing measures were based on casual request and voluntary cooperation. Now that it is fully legalized (I think it is still insufficient with regard to its support scheme), that finally makes possible for affected individuals and businesses to speak out at court. This is a landmark move.

There is evidence, illustrated in studies that factually document the spread of the virus in dining establishments. The assertion of individuality, that deems the government has no power to declare emergencies according to law or establish via executive order or its equivalent, is an incredibly daft conclusion. There is overwhelming scientific research factually determining the contagious nature of the virus and the means for its spread that aptly illustrates Global Dining's facilities meet those criteria.

Majority of recent confirmed cases in Japan have happened at home and case facilities. Global Dining would suffer setback alongside its lawsuit if a single case had appeared in its floor. All the same, Global Dining did comply with the order, and many restaurants are also victims of the pandemic.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh no it would of been way better to stay open and let covid spread like wildfire. Common sense doesn't exist anymore its all just freedom bla bla or my rights bla bla....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As the court could potentially rule on whether the anti-virus measure is unconstitutional, the central government's top spokesman Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference Monday that the order falls within the Constitution as its purpose and restrictions were "reasonable."

No, it's highly conflicting with Article 14 and debatable over constitutionality. Covid cannot be the same of other "regular" emergency crises like food poisoning or known infectious disease at restaurants where authorities can force immediate shutdown without compensation or revoke licenses if needed, for the sake of public welfare (and that's why it is interpreted as constitutional). Covid measures are preventive in character for a possible future risk at expense of biz opportunity and livelihood. They don't aim to respond to actual consequences or impacts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

business obstruction is illegal.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Problem is stemming from the useless politicians. With weak politicians, you get weak law adhesion.

No siding since the general public interest should be to make things go right : create a safe environment for your employees and customers, help those in need.

None of that happened and Japan is going down the drain with time, with Olympic games decisions being the epitome of failure.

Sorry to speak objectively. I wish there would be a heavy political change by and thanks to the Japanese to break the fossilised society.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To inform the individual claiming only 100,000 yen and two unusable masks was the total of government response: 1,000,000 yen was available to those who had a reduction of income. Other mechanisms were employed to reduce public contact.

That was me, so I guess you have an interesting place to live!

Because you can support a family a business pay rent, loan, etc..all on ¥1,200,000 a year.

Seriously.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh no it would of been way better to stay open and let covid spread like wildfire. Common sense doesn't exist anymore its all just freedom bla bla or my rights bla bla....

How about if the government had done like others did?

Support businesses by supplementing payroll so they can keep employees on it and paid, implementing an eviction freeze, paying a regular monthly amount to those that could not work because their jobs or businesses closed down.

No instead they did nothing, my daughter's company that depends on mostly public events went under, she was a new graduate hello work was a joke lasted 3 months, then what? I had to support her living at home, but wait, my business that deals with retail clients also had no clients as people worried about their jobs and going out stopped,

So where was I to get money? Oh then my son's company mostly shut down leaving 90% of the employees without a job and he the lucky one still working at reduced pay from my home ( not enough to get his own place),

At this point retirement is a pipe dream for me and the ¥1 million the government gave my business, doesn't even cover the most basic bills oh and I have to pay taxes on that.

For 3 months we had one of my daughter's friends sharing a room with her because having lost her job she was homeless ( both parents passed away a years back, new graduate with student loans and her job gone as the company couldn't function under Covid) she is now living in a daily rental rooming house working on call day jobs ( we offered her to stay but I figure she felt uncomfortable).

The Japanese system if guarantor, high rents where the jobs are, etc.. does not function well when unemployed.

I don't understand how people think business works? Do you think companies print the money for bills and payroll? Do you think food, rent is paid by some magical golden age laying goose?

If businesses cannot open, cannot make money then they cannot pay rent, pay employees, supplier, and that dominoes so the suppliers also cannot pay and the dominoes continue.

Honestly I wonder what world some live in that they don't know how the world works.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These pub and resturant owners are very lucky, why lucky? here in the UK all of the pubs and resturants are closed. since before chrismass and they have only been open for a short while between June and December and its been the same in southen island where the pubs and resturants, cloathes shops are 100% closed since May last year, the only place open are the food shops, with the police force enforcing tight restrictions on movement, so my message to the guys is shut up youve got off very lightly,

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And for the restaurant that is trying to sue the Tokyo Government, if you win, you are taking tax dollars away from the same people you serve at your restaurants. Don't be selfish during a pandemic that has already killed thousands of people.

No, the government is taking tax yen away from all people, regardless of anything else going on. Those people pay the same amount of tax whether these guys win their case or not.

But hey, if your livelihood depended on your business that suddenly had to close and wasn't able to support you and your family anymore, I'm sure you wouldn't be "selfish" and would instead celebrate the occasion, all while tapping yourself on the back over how intelligent and empathetic to your fellow men you are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I will give them the 104 yen for the damages they suffered. Let's move on. There are better things to do then wasting time on this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These pub and resturant owners are very lucky, why lucky? here in the UK....etc....

Did you forget that the UK government is giving aid to these businesses, did you forget that the UK government is covering 80% of employees wages!!!

No such thing here in Japan, my business got a one time ¥ 1 million and that is taxable as income and basically all I actually made, I and many other are in the serious minus no payroll help nothing so those of us that can run our business without employees are doing that others closed permanently.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I will start boycotting these restaurants from now on.

https://www.global-dining.com/shoplist/

imposing blanket restrictions without offering evidence...

They are willing to put people's health in danger for their profit. It is like tobacco companies saying, there is no proof that smoking causes cancer.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

""Global Dining Inc claims the order "is illegal and unconstitutional as it infringes the right to freedom of business""

In a state of emergency, the public well being come first and not PROFITS.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Reality is no income no payroll not jobs.

No, the reality is lose your life you have no need for a job, income or anything else.

Lose your job, eventually get another one. Lose your life it's game over. No comparison.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In a state of emergency, the public well being come first and not PROFITS..

Sure and when the employees are living on the street how is that going to help keep people safe?

No home, no sanitation= more spreading on disease.

Most of those working in these businesses live hand to mouth.

Not rent and no moratorium on eviction means being on the street.

I know several young people right now living in daily rental rooming houses as they lost their jobs, have no income couldn't pay their rents and got tossed out on the street.

They now take whatever one or two day jobs they can get to cover their room with are often 3 or 4 per room in a dorm like house.

I had one of my daughter's friends living with us in her room because she lost her job when her employer closed down, she is a recent university graduate has no parents (deceased) and student loans up to her eyeballs.

I imagine those that say the above have nice homes, steady well paying jobs and never once had to struggle for much of anything.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan's cabinet decided Tuesday to use 2.17 trillion yen in reserve funds for fiscal 2020 to financially support businesses and households suffering from the prolonged impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding includes 1.54 trillion yen for local authorities to aid restaurants and bars that comply with requests to close early as part of anti-COVID-19 measures. Municipalities will be able to provide 40,000 yen per day in subsidies to such operators.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Restaurant chain operator sues Tokyo gov't over COVID opening hour restrictions

I hope he succeeds. So many restaurants are going out of business. And the ones that are open are crowded as hell during the shortened hours (picked out thin air by Koike) that are allowed. If you want to help spread a virus, you can not do much better than make sure to cram as many people together in a shortened time span. Sheer brilliance...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan's lack of Lockdowns has served it very well. Here are some figures from worldometers coronavirus info, as of March 1st, 2021:

High Lockdown 'Covid' Deaths per million population

UK 1,851

France 1,296

Italy 1,624

(those three countries have approx. 1/2 the population of Japan each).

Low/No Lockdown 'Covid' Deaths per million population

Japan 62

Why fix it if it ain't busted?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope Hasegawa wins.

Too many bankruptcies and hardships caused by this early-close edict.

It needs to end.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

gokai_wo_manekuMar. 23  07:28 am JST

So they want Japan to become like the USA? High infection and death rate, but Profit over everything!!!

It looks like it. Big difference is, one can only imagine if the Japanese government is going to be as violence-inducing and stupid as the TrashTrump regime did in 2020. At least the Japanese government hasn't denied it or lied about it like Benedict Donald did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There was an edict, but edicts are not laws.

There has to be a basis in facts and arbitrary edicts are not how democracies flourish.

Can you show everyone here how many cases of Covid are attributed to being transmitted in a restaurant after 8pm?

8pm is an arbitrary time based on nothing and can only be considered a foolish edict. If an edict is issued that you can only wear red color clothing after 6pm when there is a pandemic, would you follow such a foolish edict without question?

Perhaps you will, but I suspect most of us will not.

Because it is an edict, as you say, but not law, then it's a suggestion by the government, and suing the government is nonsensical. The party suing must be idiotic to bother showing up at the hearing, so, just ignore the edict, right??

Why not? It couldn't be because the court of public opinion wouldn't go to your restaurant, anyways, in the name of health for the masses. But what do you care? It's just an edict for dummies, don't follow it, do as you please.

You obviously don't get the reasoning nor the culture if you think an edict by the government in Japan is easily dismissed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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