The Japanese government declared a second state of emergency following a surge in coronavirus cases in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures on Jan 7. Following prefectural governors' request, the central government extended this emergency declaration to 11 prefectures on Wednesday.
Eating establishments have been asked to close by 8 p.m. and restrict serving alcoholic beverages by 7 p.m. Although the restaurant chain Saizeriya Co has complied with the shortened operating hours, the company’s president, Issei Horino, has ridiculed an additional request from some government officials asking people not to eat out for lunch as well, Fuji TV reported.
Regarding the infection risk of eat out for lunch, Horino adamantly said: “Today, the [officials] were going back and forth about lunch again. They are talking nonsense.”
In some prefectures, major restaurant chains will not be eligible to receive a subsidy of 60,000 yen per day. Since the state of emergency deprives businesses of their peak operating hours, Horino said it was essential to remain open for lunch. "A lot of people work for major restaurant operators. Eating establishments are being pushed deeper into despair, and it's no laughing matter."© Japan Today