Tokyo Olympics Defiant Drinkers
People drink at a bar after the government-imposed 8 p.m. closing time for restaurants and bars, in Tokyo on July 17. Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato
national

Tokyo's drinkers drown frustrations over virus restrictions, Olympics

81 Comments
By KANTARO KOMIYA

On the eve of the Tokyo Olympics, the government's attempt to curb a coronavirus surge by targeting drinkers is drowning in liquor, frustration and indifference.

Japan has asked the city's restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m., if not entirely, to keep people from socializing in close contact with strangers and spreading the virus, but the state of emergency hasn't deterred many. Instead, drinkers moved outdoors, and many bars in Tokyo's famed nightlife districts are bustling with defiant customers.

“Nobody is convinced when (the government) victimizes people who are drinking alcohol without showing decent scientific evidence, even while going ahead with the Olympics,” said Mio Maruyama, a 28-year-old real estate industry worker who was chatting with her colleagues on the street in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district.

She says she’s interested in watching the Games, especially new sports like skateboarding and Japan’s Rui Hachimura, an NBA star, “but when I think of how politicians are playing around with this, I’m not quite rooting for this event from my heart.”

“It’s not that we are breaking the rules just because we’re against the inconsistency between politicians’ words and actions,” she said, referring to a 40-person reception for International Olympic Committee members on Sunday that included the prime minister and the governor of Tokyo. “But when you see such things, you might think that rule breakers were right in doing what they’re doing.”

The IOC reception happened at a time when the public is barred from going to parties or even attending most Olympic events. Many Japanese are frustrated by that contrast — but are hardly staying home.

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People walk around and gather outside bars and shops in Shinjuku. Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato

At around 9:30 p.m. in Shinjuku, people crisscrossed in front of the world’s busiest train terminal. Nighttime turnout was modest compared to before the pandemic, but bar districts like Kabukicho were still illuminated with neon lights from a few food establishments that were still open after 8 p.m.

Exempted from the emergency state mandate, 24/7-open convenience stores were busy with shoppers. Near one of the shops, some drinkers were talking with city workers wearing green Tokyo Metropolitan Government vests who were asking people to refrain from drinking and chatting outside.

On a quiet street in east Shinjuku, Naoto Suga picked up a can of lemon-flavored liquor that his friend had just brought him. They sat on a curbside, along with around a dozen others who were also drinking on the street.

“We’ve been here every night for the past three days or so,” said Suga, 25, who works in a nearby apparel shop.

“I don’t think the Olympics itself made this (situation), but even before the Games, things like the state of emergency have remained half measures, and I think that’s making things worse,” he said. “People are all used to the state of emergency, so it’s getting less meaningful now.”

Suga, who hasn’t received the COVID-19 vaccine yet, also lamented the slower rollout in Japan, especially for younger people. Everyone 12 and older is eligible to be vaccinated, but younger people are last in line. Only 22% of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated so far.

“To be honest, I’m for hosting the Olympics; it’s better than not doing so given the debt of venue buildings,” he said. “But I don’t quite have a particular sport I want to watch. I’ve lost interest.”

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81 Comments
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This picture depicts exactly the situation causing the surge in cases. Small bar, 20-30 year olds getting wasted with no masks.

20-30 year-olds get excited for the summer but 30-60 year-olds have been doing it all year round.

This is why I've always said anti-Olympic people are mostly hypocrites. They'll gang up on the Olympics but have no problem going out drinking, going to Disneyland, and packing into crowded trains and restaurants.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@John-SanJuly 22 10:10 am JST

Like any bill without opposition support would pass through the lower and upper house on the first introduction.

This has not been true. It's only a couple of months back when the government, realizing that autoregulation is reaching its limits, tried to pass a bill that imposes criminal liability. The opposition objected, so it was downgraded to a toothless bill with fines that many businesses would prefer paying to continue. And before you say that the Party of Power should just ram the bill through, remember the reality of Japan as a "Party of Power" state, just like Russia and China. It's only the Japanese emphasis on consensus that keeps Japan from becoming Russia or even China. Think hard about what you wish for.

As for the Olympics, a deal is a deal.

In addition the same government continues to put people in harm’s way by not mandating mandatory work from home policies

It's the businesses claiming they are not able to comply. As for trying to threaten them, it's a lot easier to threaten people to refrain from doing something than to threaten them to do something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hong Kong's Orange News let out the news on April 19: Apple Daily's internal notice reminded editors to abandon the label of "Wuhan Pneumonia" and replace it with "Latest Epidemic" and "Vaccination" as topic labels."Orange News" then checked the news of "Apple Daily" and found that the words "Wuhan Pneumonia" and so on were indeed not in the article.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

KenchiToday 05:39 am JST

girl_in_tokyo

I for one fully support you staying at home.

And I support you going out - I hear Shinjuku and Shibuya bars are really crowded these days. And don't forget to not wear a mask. :)

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Tokyo reports 1,979 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 5,383

But by all means - keep going out to restaurants, cafes, and drinking in bars. Let's thin the herd a bit more.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

girl_in_tokyo

I'm going to continue to stay home. I'll continue to stay home until at least 50% of people are vaccinated. 

I for one fully support you staying at home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This picture depicts exactly the situation causing the surge in cases. Small bar, 20-30 year olds getting wasted with no masks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Remember the date: August 3rd. This is when Asahi will re-release their draft beer in a can in stores. You can drink outside your favorite closed izakaya all you want.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

When the US lifted its restriction I said this virus is not going to go away!!! I posted many times here that the numbers in Japan would go up up up especially after GW. I said this because you can not kill a virus, the virus can play a good game of hide and seek. Japan and the world is now finding this out again. The world over economies suffered and now the world over will host the Olympic games in the name of money. All that Glitter is not GOLD. The people responsible for this virus only wants people to take shots when in fact alot of people now in Tokyo and around the world is left to drinker drown their frustrations over virus restrictions, and the worries of being forced to take a shot that has not been proven scientifically, as the Olympics carry on. Money over Power!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Incredibly selfish people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It’s easy to blame these people for being selfish but context is important.

The government asks the people to stay home, refrain from drinking and enjoying entertainment outside of the home. Given the current pandemic, that’s a fair request.

However, the same government is prioritizing an event that clearly will heighten the risks of infection and is purposely ignoring the will of the majority of people.

In addition the same government continues to put people in harm’s way by not mandating mandatory work from home policies, stuffing them into trains every morning and as salt on the wound, try to take away the few joys that people have in an already stressful society.

Not just that. That same government repeatedly gets caught doing the exact opposite of what it wants its citizens to do. That's rubbing salt, lemon juice, and vinegar in the wound all at once.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Falseflagsteve; These are the same rule and fines in Australia So Australia is a dictatorship with the highest minimum wage in the world is equal to USD $16.70 an hour , 4 weeks annual holidays, 8 sick leave days, There are other benefit like family tax rebate. Steve you really show you weren't born on the wrong side of the tracks. Japan minimum wage ( the poor of society in Japan ) is equal to USD $8.00 a hour 4 days paid holidays a year. Those people in the photo above are not the poor of the Japanese society. The minimum wage earner could not afford a 90 yen glass of sake. let alone the time to socialised. Well off people just like you have a big problem with foot in mouth when it came to commenting on the poor in society. I hope you gage no your next beer

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How about these restriction if enforced, no mask 20,000 yen fine, second time caught without a mask 100,000 yen fine. not distancing and no mask 100,000 yen fine. Being out side your area with out excuse. like going to care for relative, essential worker or excise if you can not prove any of those exception above 100,000 yen fine.

Sorry but this is not CCP China, Straya or 'murica the constitution doesn't allow for the restriction of civil liberties.

They would have to change the constitution for that and it is almost impossible to do. If you're craving for a nanny state I suggest you move to one of the Orwellian dictatorships of the west.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'll drink to that!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Can't say I blame them. Aside from the hypocrisy that others haved mentioned here, there's just the incessant cyclical nature of these states of emergency. We're in one for two months, then it's relaxed a bit, then a week later the numbers jump and we're back to square one.

All the while, it's only people who want to enjoy themselves (people that want to drink in particular) that bare the entirety of the measures. Trains are seemingly no less busy, so there isn't much working from home going on, for example.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The problem with drinkers is that as they get drinker they get more carelease with precautions, and if infected will almost certainly spread the disease.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

otherworldly

If you can control perception you can control reality, that's what the media does.

True. Just consider this: In CCP China, the pandemic is officially over, life is back to normal, and the country is open for business (lots of it from the West, where we are covering in fear of daily "case" numbers pushed in the media).

Does anyone seriously think the virus has disappeared in China? That is insane. Of course it is still out there, and of course there a "cases" in China. The only difference is the media.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

falseflagsteve

Good to see these people using common sense. Fresh air and socializing is incredibly important to human beings. 

Exactly! On a large enough population sample, being locked in at home, deprived of fresh air, sunshine, movement, and human contact has to be worse than any corona or other virus. Of course, for a very small population segment that has a number other medical conditions already, that might not be true, but they should be protected separately, instead of punishing the entire population.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

girl_in_tokyo

Without locking down, a greater number of people are going to die - fact.

No, that is a claim, not a "fact". The death rates vary widely all over the world, and there is no correlation between them and government "lock down" policies.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I mean, if the they allow the ticking timebomb that is the olympic village, then people should be able to grab a drink.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s easy to blame these people for being selfish but context is important.

The government asks the people to stay home, refrain from drinking and enjoying entertainment outside of the home. Given the current pandemic, that’s a fair request.

However, the same government is prioritizing an event that clearly will heighten the risks of infection and is purposely ignoring the will of the majority of people.

In addition the same government continues to put people in harm’s way by not mandating mandatory work from home policies, stuffing them into trains every morning and as salt on the wound, try to take away the few joys that people have in an already stressful society.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

falseflagsteveToday  01:42 pm JST

The dangers are negligee from going out and drinking in the street like these people. The dangers of staying in confined places without socializing are far worse especially in the long term. Look at the state of the nations that did lockdowns, they temporarily slowdown Covid only but cause so much harm mentally, especially to the children and elderly.

I think going out with friends and talking, eating and drinking in close proximity for sn extended time, just amplifies the risks those young people take by boarding trains and subways to work, then working in close proximity with their co-workers for 10-12 hours. SO if the do catch it from each other, they will bring it home and spread it to older more vulnerable people.

Even though I'm fully vaxxed, I wouldn't hang out with friends at this stage unless they are also fully vaxxed.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Nuts.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Once again, agree with here with *@falseflagsteve 1:49pm, **“negligee” *as a nighttime, public-social wardrobe selections are:

- “A very poorly thought out idea in my opinion.”

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Agree 100% with @falseflagsteve 1:42pm on this key point. There are inherent dangers with such nightwear. To paraphrase:

“The dangers are negligee …”

An additional robe and/or yukata would be more modest & appropriate, given the intense summer heat & humidity”

“from going out and drinking in the street like these people.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

John

May as well bring in a dictatorship then. Haven’t seen any social distancing in Osaka for a very long time, mind you, those hefty fines o would bring g in plenty of dough for the government as well as unfairly punish the poorest in society

A very poorly thought out idea in my opinion.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

these are not restriction so it not a real SOE. How about these restriction if enforced, no mask 20,000 yen fine, second time caught without a mask 100,000 yen fine. not distancing and no mask 100,000 yen fine. Being out side your area with out excuse. like going to care for relative, essential worker or excise if you can not prove any of those exception above 100,000 yen fine. This is how you stop people going against SOE.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Commodore

The dangers are negligee from going out and drinking in the street like these people. The dangers of staying in confined places without socializing are far worse especially in the long term. Look at the state of the nations that did lockdowns, they temporarily slowdown Covid only but cause so much harm mentally, especially to the children and elderly.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I'm looking forward to my second Moderna next week.

I'm also looking forward to going out (very shortly) for a drink. Not in a large crowd and no food sharing.

If it was OK last year, it's OK now.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

falseflagsteveToday  11:58 am JST

Going out for a beer or two with friends, like these people is normal behaviour mad should not be discouraged.

Come on guy--Covid is spreading the most among this group of young people going out for a beer or two with friends.

This is the demographic that needs to cowboy up the most now, and stop the spread.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Restrictions are for your own good. 

LOL The government and media have done a good job on you!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I don't see the problem with drinking with your friends outside, as long as you don't share food or drinks and keep a certain distance apart.

This time last year, the media and government tried getting us to believe that nightlife workers were fueling the spread of covid. Now, the scapegoat is drinking. None of it based on science or logic.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

If you can control perception you can control reality, that's what the media does. Learn about the psychology of the media, then let go of the fear and have a nice time.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@ZorotoToday 

Don't know why you're getting downvoted.

You are essentially correct. There is a reduced effect after one shot. The first shots of AZ and Pfizer gives reduced protection at around 30%-70% from exhibiting symptoms according to recent UK and Canadian research.

Canada study: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.28.21259420v1.full.pdf

"We estimated that partial vaccination with BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 were 55% and 70% effective, respectively, against symptomatic infection by currently circulating VOCs in Canada."

UK: https://khub.net/web/phe-national/public-library/-/document_library/v2WsRK3ZlEig/view_file/479607329?_com_liferay_document_library_web_portlet_DLPortlet_INSTANCE_v2WsRK3ZlEig_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fkhub.net%3A443%2Fweb%2Fphe-national%2Fpublic-library%2F-%2Fdocument_library%2Fv2WsRK3ZlEig%2Fview%2F479607266

There's a lovely table in that paper that compares their respective effectiveness.

Importantly though, risk of death from the virus (including Delta variant) is significantly reduced after only one shot. Even one shot drastically decreases your risk of death but to get maximum protection and stop the spread, people should get both.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Most people have become tired of the BS from the govt and can see through the facade that is being pushed out of the IOC and the dummies in the govt.

It not ok to socialise or have dinner and drinks with friends after work while sitting outside but its fine to sit shoulder to shoulder in an enclosed space to communte then sit in a confined office space all day with no fear of contracting this virus. Everyone can see through the B.S. .................its like looking through the window.

Keep yourself clean , fit and healthy, get plenty of regular sleep, eat fresh foods and exercise often, these things will help stave of any threat of virus!

Most importantly turn off the T.V and the media !

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Epic cut-and-paste post...

I won't be reading any of the insane gurglings, but top marks for effort.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

At this stage, I just don't care any more. Let the people drink if they so choose. Not only is the govt holding those bloody olympics, but let us not forget that this very govt got caught MORE than once going out partying with its own people in drinking establishments during the SOE when they were asking the citizens not to. Hypocrisy of the highest order. No one should take these idiots seriously. Just ignore whatever they say and do as you please. They only have themselves to blame.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

At girl in Tokyo

girl_in_tokyoToday  09:10 am JST

Without locking down, a greater number of people are going to die - fact.

Restrictions are for your own good. Don't act like a two-year old who wants ice cream for breakfast. You are an adult. Life is not fair or easy. We all must do things we don't want to do. We are all stressed out and tired of staying in. Everyone's mental health is suffering. But breaking restrictions is irresponsible and will get even more people killed.

One: Show stats on your Fact!

Two: Show facts on restrictions are for my own good!

Three: Show facts that Icecream is bad for breakfast. Bacon is better?

Four: Show facts and stats that says life is not fair nor easy. I find it wonderfully rewarding, fair and quite easy.

Five: Don’t us the word “We” and put us all in your seemingly unhappy category. I have no friends stressed out, and we most certainly do not stay in hiding in the dark cement burrows.

Six: Don’t say “Everyone’s “ mental health is suffering. Mine, family and friends are happy as clams.

Seven: There are no restrictions. There are suggestions. I follow what the leaders do. Want to come to a party?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Good to see these people using common sense. Fresh air and socializing is incredibly important to human beings. Someone commentating here said their mental health is bad because they stay in out of fear. This shows what isolation and irrational fear does to human beings. Stress reduces the effectiveness of the immune system, something not needed right now. Going out for a beer or two with friends, like these people is normal behaviour mad should not be discouraged.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

These people just use the olympics as an excuse to break the rules.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I honestly don't care anymore. I'm tired of the Japanese government's ineptitude. I caught covid last year. Didn't even realize until I went in for a physical. Trust me the flu is worse. I wasn't sick and experienced nothing except health officials urging me to self quarantine.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Suga-san is all about do as I say not as I do.

From the beginning I didnt understand this alcohol restriction at bars and restaurants as a prevention against Corona.

@Monty, it is common sense/knowledge that when people start drinking they get less inhibited, speak in louder voices, laugh and yell, etc. This obviously enhances the ability of the airborn virus to travel as opposed to quietly chatting over coffee at lunch.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

With such disinterest from the youth in their politicians, their plead or whatever non-sens coming from their mouth broadcasted in all medias, what will a J government look like in the next 5 years? Elected with 10% of the voting population?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The government want drinking venue to close down without any finance support. Get real. Government want people to respect the SOE, again without any finance support. Yet the Government allow a rouge cartel (IOC) to dictate COVID - 19 restriction during it tender. And Government is blaming business for the number of COVID - 19 infection. This government need to grow sum, and take control of this pandemic by passing laws to suit the serious of the situation. Like any bill without opposition support would pass through the lower and upper house on the first introduction. The Government were worried more about the polling, the cost of financial help and financial recovery more than the health of it citizens.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

To all the doomsayers here, take a look at the stats: very few people are getting sick and even fewer are dying.

https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html

This can probably be attributed to the most vulnerable people already being jabbed once or twice, and the variant doing the rounds now, while being pretty contagious, is weaker than the previous ones. The government could still do much better by allowing infected people to take some of those drugs that shall not be named so as to prevent infected people from deteriorating, but hey, their behaviour shows don't give a damn about saving lives.

But don't let that stop you from calling for harsh measures. The Japanese have plenty of misery to contend with in their daily lives, so give them a break here.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

These sentiments and behaviors must be expected. The flip flop policies of the govt. and the complete lack of simple-talk messaging and appeal will naturally make people tune out and do their own thing. You need to have effective leadership to do any sustained efforts and Japan has clearly shown lacking in this area. A once in a lifetime chance perhaps? Will a generation of sharp, witty and confident leaders take the reigns and step to the plate now? We can but hope. In the meantime, enjoy the spectacle!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Many people (young and not so young) simply don't seem to care about their own health and that of vulnerable people around them. Some are tired of being told to sacrifice their social life during an international event held in their city while they have to commute on packed trains to work. The wording "drown frustrations" makes it look like Tokyo is on the verge of a drinking problem.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

As long as the old and sick are vaccinated I see absolutely nothing wrong with this and would be there myself having a few if the international borders were open...!!!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Japanese Politics is totally disconnected from the people. You are elected for the benefit of the people not to make yourself rich, or get more influence. The vaccination progress in Japan, is pathetic maybe you can even say its a total Failure! Only with a high vaccination rate you can prevent people from ending up in hospital or dying. However Red tape and bureaucracy has prevented fast progress and backwards minded people spreading false news, rumours and discrimination are doing real damage preventing people from getting vaccinated. The Olympics will go ahead because it is about big money for the IOC and the Tokyo Government not about the people or the Athletes. They are just "Showroom Dummies"....

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Regular Japanese people drinking in bars or other establishments until 8 p.m. and small groups of young people drinking on Tokyo streets (a normal pastime in the summer months btw) = "drowning in liquor"?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Without locking down, a greater number of people are going to die - fact.

Restrictions are for your own good. Don't act like a two-year old who wants ice cream for breakfast. You are an adult. Life is not fair or easy. We all must do things we don't want to do. We are all stressed out and tired of staying in. Everyone's mental health is suffering. But breaking restrictions is irresponsible and will get even more people killed.

Normally I wouldn't care if people decide to engage in risky behavoir; that's on them - race car driving, skiiing, mountain climbing, hitchhiking, cliff diving, parasailing ... these are dangerous, but people do them fully cognizant of the possible choices.

But in a pandemic, this would be akin to taking your grandmother with you in the car when racing, and not allowing her to wear a seat belt. Or cliff diving when there are people in the water below when you jump. Your actions are effecting other people, and you aren't allowing them to make the choice to be exposed to your risky behavior and are dragging them alone for the ride.

I'm going to continue to stay home. I'll continue to stay home until at least 50% of people are vaccinated.

Keep in mind: your risky behavior puts others in danger and prolongs the restrictions. That's selfish, childish, and unforgivable.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

Go green and resolve a lot of problems

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The circus will be gone in a few short weeks. Drink at home until then.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Vaccination in Japan is old folks first and younger people later. Many of them have not received the first dose of vaccination yet. Yesterday, I saw on TV many young people waiting in line to receive PCR before they go home to meet their parents. I was surprised these people have not received vaccination yet. I finished vaccination first and second doses. The order of vaccination should be the other way around.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Good, these kinds of restrictions ultimately don't work: https://academic.oup.com/cesifo/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cesifo/ifab003/6199605

People have had enough and the government have lost control. The pandemic's over and even Japanese people can see that

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I have had one shot of Moderna. Second next week. Efficacy after one shot against Delta could be anywhere between 25 to 75 percent after one shot. There is not enough data yet, Zoroto stating worst case scenario.

I know many places serving alcohol this S O E. I have been and sill try and continue to support them daily.

If the Government can have their Olympics, then I can booze where I want.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Yes, hurry up and have another last fun for a while, because with those daily rising numbers, they soon again try to close. No, not commuting and workplaces, only your favorite leisure activity places. You know that, don’t you?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Better not go to drinking crowds whatever if u want to live many many years. It seems to me morons are making their own fate.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

“It’s not that we are breaking the rules just because we’re against the inconsistency between politicians’ words and actions,” she said, referring to a 40-person reception for International Olympic Committee members on Sunday that included the prime minister and the governor of Tokyo. “But when you see such things, you might think that rule breakers were right in doing what they’re doing.”

Of all the people who watched the procession, it was a youth who said “Look, the Emperor has no clothes!”

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Insofar as mild Ethanol poisoning (~3 whiskeys) mitigates 'caution' as its first casualty of consciousness, how much more vulnerable to dangerous behavior resulting in infection might these people somehow 'desperate' to drink in public become? And if the Delta variant or one of its daughter variants finds a way around the various vaccines and we start the whole show full time again, just how 'desperate' will these people be then? How many of us can do a second round of 2020? How many whole countries can do a second round of 2020? I suspect we may find out the true meaning of the ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in 'interesting times'?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

What "rules"? What "laws" Just what is being "broken?"

The government has "asked", "urged" (spit up coffee), "requested", and every other "ask" in the book, and all along going directly opposite.

It's no wonder folks are fed up. The "state of emergency" is meaningless, and the only people who are to blame for THAT, are the elected officials that cant get crap right!

If there is one silver-lining to all this crap with the Olympics and state of emergency, with any hope at all, these folks will remember when it's time to vote in October!

18 ( +19 / -1 )

They should now be prioritizing the young " spreader" generation for vaccines.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I support the kids more than the gov.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

“It’s not that we are breaking the rules just because we’re against the inconsistency between politicians’ words and actions,” she said, referring to a 40-person reception for International Olympic Committee members on Sunday that included the prime minister and the governor of Tokyo. “But when you see such things, you might think that rule breakers were right in doing what they’re doing.”

Whil I wholhearterdly agree with this sentiment, I also think that you youngsters could all spend a week or two without driking with your friends. It wouldn't be the end of the world. Just have a break while cases are spiking.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

They are out during a State of Emergency because the Government of Japan is sending the opposite message by bringing literally 10’s of thousands of people from all over the world into the zone where the State of Emergency is declared

They recognize fully the BS

35 ( +37 / -2 )

how many have received one dose of the vaccine? I have read that even one shot gives significant protection.

You read it wrong. Against the Delta variant (which is at least 60% of all cases in Tokyo according to NHK) does NOT give significant protections. It's around 30% only.

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

I think the takeaway from this is that even the Japanese, who are generally (for better and for worse) a docile and obedient people, have had enough of the grotesque mismanagement of the situation.

I don’t think they’re being very smart by drinking out on the streets, but I do understand why they do.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Only 22% of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated so far.

how many have received one dose of the vaccine? I have read that even one shot gives significant protection.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

oldman_13Today 06:47 am JST

Understandable. You can't restrict people forever.

No-one's been restricted from anything. The Japanese government has no legal power to enforce anything, and vast numbers of places have ignored their "urgings."

ToshihiroToday 06:53 am JST

I second oldman, you can only place everyone on house arrest for so long before something starts to give. I'm just thankful that the government isn't planning to enforce an alcohol ban, that would really set off the average salary man. Drink and wash away those problems for tonight, we can worry about them in the morning along with a throbbing head.

Talking to yourself here, dude?

-10 ( +17 / -27 )

Well, nothing to do, drink happy and just take the vaccines ASAP !!..

0 ( +8 / -8 )

You can hardly blame them. In a country where you’re expected to commute to work, grind it out for insane hours every day and then go home exhausted, having a few drinks to let go is one of the few ways you can release a bit of stress.

During the first state of emergency, there was a sense of purpose so people took closures in their stride. But after a year of dithering and a complete lack of action by the government in testing people and vaccinations, this is one form of protest. Many businesses near me are also openly ignoring these directives and staying open at night. Looks like the government is losing control.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

From the beginning I didnt understand this alcohol restriction at bars and restaurants as a prevention against Corona.

Look at the coffee shops!

Each coffee shop is fully packed, especially with groups of young women, telling their life and love stories to each other, shouting, laughing...

What is the different between that and a bar or a restaurant?

The situation is the same.

Just in one place it is coffee and in the other place it is beer.

But the situation for Corona is the same.

41 ( +47 / -6 )

Watch the olympics if you like, do not if you enjoy your daily life instead. We are all tired of the politics directly connnected to each and every olympic games. What has happened to this world? In what direction are we heading? Is civilization heading down the right path?

Always look at the bright side of life- from Monty Python, the life of Brian, I believe....

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why Not DRINK, DRINK & DRINK, waited 6 DAMN months for this government to put it's act together. Go out and enjoy yourself.

12 ( +24 / -12 )

Just targeting bars and restaurants doesn't work, what about the trains, Disneyland, department stores, shopping malls and of course the Olympics as examples. No wonder most people ignore the government requests.

Time to change our leaders here for some smarter people with some balls.

31 ( +36 / -5 )

I second oldman, you can only place everyone on house arrest for so long before something starts to give. I'm just thankful that the government isn't planning to enforce an alcohol ban, that would really set off the average salary man. Drink and wash away those problems for tonight, we can worry about them in the morning along with a throbbing head.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

"We're breaking the rules cause we feel like it," the woman added. "And when we catch corona, and wind up in hospital, the NHI system will pay. Which means everyone else also pays for my stupidity," she giggled.

"That's right," her friend Taro interjected. "We get to drink and hang out and be stupid, but everyone other than us will suffer because our cases will be mild since we are only in our 20's." He then said, "I do worry about my grandmother, with whom I live, but her life is not as important as me being able to drink 9% lemon on a curb in Shinjuku."

-12 ( +28 / -40 )

Understandable. You can't restrict people forever.

19 ( +29 / -10 )

Tune in again tomorrow to see what other entries can be coupled with such headlines:

“ . . .’s frustrations over virus restrictions, Olympics,” -

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Downvotes Today” sponsored by (allegedly) the IOCLDPJOC & other related sponsors against free speech and fair & democratic elections” -

12 ( +24 / -12 )

Let’s hope this same demographic votes in droves against these hypocrites in the next election:

a 20’s woman: “It’s not that we are breaking the rules just because we’re against the inconsistency between politicians’ words and actions,” -

35 ( +44 / -9 )

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