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Tokyo’s Shibuya district bans public drinking on New Year’s Eve, cancels countdown celebration

116 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

As we approach the mid-point of December, it’s time to start fine-tuning your plans for New Year’s Eve, but if you’re going to be spending the night in Tokyo, one of the city’s traditionally biggest party neighborhoods doesn’t want you celebrating in the streets.

Shibuya, the downtown Tokyo neighborhood world-famous for landmarks such as the Shibuya Scramble intersection and statue of faithful dog Hachiko, will be banning public consumption of alcohol in the area around Shibuya Station on New Year’s Eve, starting at 6 p.m. The prohibition will be in effect until 5 a.m. the following morning, New Year’s Day, and there will be an increased police presence in the area as well. The ward is also asking that “kiosks, convenience stores and retailers” in the area refrain from selling alcohol during the period.

The Shibuya Ward government has cited concerns about overcrowding-related accidents. Another almost-certain factor is Shibuya’s recent attempts to clean up its image after becoming Tokyo’s de-facto street partying center at Halloween, with uncharacteristic-for-Japan levels of crime and mayhem accompanying the widely inebriated costumed revelry, which led to a rather unwelcoming public awareness campaign this year.

Shibuya is discouraging even sober on-the-street celebrations, cancelling a planned countdown-to-midnight event with the statement “In view of the increased number of visitors since the summer, the Shibuya Countdown Executive Committee has canceled the Shibuya Countdown Event in front of Shibuya Station because of the difficulty of ensuring safety and security at the event.” Even if you just wanted to snap a cool photo of the Shibuya Scramble as the clock strikes 12, you’ll be out of luck, as the ward has also requested that the giant video screens on the skyscrapers that ring the intersection go dark from 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

It’s all a far cry from just a few years ago, when Shibuya was actively attracting people to the neighborhood on New Year’s Eve by shutting down the Scramble to cars so more people could pack it, but that’s the world we’re living in in 2023/2024.

Source: Shibuya, FNN Prime Online via Livedoor News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood bans public Halloween drinking following mayhem

-- Japanese police requests train stations in Shibuya to shut exits during New Year countdown

-- Mayor tells people not to come to Shibuya for Halloween

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

116 Comments
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Wow we have gotten so old that this is the norm now.

Imagine NY, Paris…but ok yeah we will hit the lights at 11 on new years eve.

zzzz

6 ( +28 / -22 )

The ward is also asking that “kiosks, convenience stores and retailers” in the area refrain from selling alcohol during the period.

But not the the izakaya because this is Japan.

-8 ( +20 / -28 )

This is clearly for the benefit of the restaurants in the area.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

They'll all go to Roppongi and Shinjuku instead. The Shibuya local gov are a bunch of nannies. It's 2023/24 not 1923/24.

13 ( +28 / -15 )

"....the giant video screens on the skyscrapers that ring the intersection go dark from 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve..."

Welcome to Pyongyang.

-4 ( +26 / -30 )

That's why I don't go to Shibuya anymore.

Everything is baned.

Actually I skip Shibuya because of the crazy vloggers these days, just driving by the place you can hear all sorts of people shouting nonsense, not even a zoo is that noisy

16 ( +24 / -8 )

How Shibuya official treats Halloween just won't stop a Halloween it continues to New Years countdown. For Halloween, Shibuya official use Itaewon tragedy in Seoul over and over again. Too bad for new year eve they can't get any similar tragedy to use for spreading the fear.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul_Halloween_crowd_crush

-28 ( +5 / -33 )

So much for the Times Square of Japan.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Too bad for new year eve they can't get any similar tragedy to use for spreading the fear.

Is your argument that the risk for an uncontrolled mob completely depends on the date? that is not the case if the government of Shibuya does not make an effort to control and safeguard the safety of countless people on a huge event then there are serious risks for the people, even if it is not Halloween.

Shibuya is simply saying they find more justifiable to not support some events and the problems they may have than dealing with those problems.

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Fun police are knocking on my window.

I have never known any local government to spend so much time, effort, and taxpayer money on such a crusade against people trying to have a good time on a day of celebration.

When did the Taliban take over Shibuya?

-7 ( +21 / -28 )

Desiccated spoilsports, or not up to the job of organising a safe event (other cities around the world seem to manage it) which it is I will leave others to judge.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

I certainly hope this mayor is not re-elected. What a buzz kill.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

This is what happens when the politicians constantly pander to the selfish seniors.

-6 ( +16 / -22 )

Lol…one more time.

How did that idea work out for Halloween?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

I have never known any local government to spend so much time, effort, and taxpayer money on such a crusade against people trying to have a good time on a day of celebration

What time, effort and money is Shibuya using to stop people from having a good time anywhere else? that is not a valid argument.

How did that idea work out for Halloween?

Huge reductions of the number of people that went to Shibuya as it was projected, minor incidents instead of something that could have meant a risk for the people there, that would indicate it was successful.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

This is because people have been abusing the area relentlessly! Instead of using it in a good way they have abused the streets of Shibuya! They throw garbage around, damage the walls as well as the statue of the dog, and so much vomit leftover is left back after the crowd disperses the next morning! Some people who constantly fail to enjoy themselves responsibly spoil it for everyone else!

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Actually I skip Shibuya because of the crazy vloggers these days, just driving by the place you can hear all sorts of people shouting nonsense, not even a zoo is that noisy.

Yes, good point.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Well, Shibuya station is a labyrinth at the moment. Better skip that place and have the party somewhere else.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It’s all a far cry from just a few years ago, when Shibuya was actively attracting people to the neighborhood on New Year’s Eve by shutting down the Scramble to cars so more people could pack it, but that’s the world we’re living in in 2023/2024.

No , that is the world the gerontocrat LDP and their base want people to live in in 23/24.

No explanations given except:

The Shibuya Ward government has cited concerns about overcrowding-related accidents. Another almost-certain factor is Shibuya’s recent attempts to clean up its image after becoming Tokyo’s de-facto street partying center at Halloween, with uncharacteristic-for-Japan levels of crime

So other crowded events and commutes are back to normal but somehow Shibuya has become a hotbed of "accidents" and crime?

Unfortunately Japanese youth don't vote and their voices go unheard by the bureaucrats and their wealth property holder supporters.

Japan in a nutshell, and the authorities are managing the decline quite badly.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Tokyo’s Shibuya district bans public drinking on New Year’s Eve, cancels countdown celebration

why don’t they just ban, FUN?

make it easier?

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Invite friends to your place for a celebration. That's what I do. Better to celebrate the new year with your close friends than in a huge crowd where anything can happen.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I'm not sure who they think they are doing this all for, Shibuya is a place where young and people that want to have fun go to, just because you shut all that down doesn't mean that new groups of people will start coming. I think business owners need to learn that with positives comes negatives. If Shibuya loses that young and fun image and some other part of Tokyo takes that spot I think they are looking at a big loss of revenue.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Shibuya don't want the cost of policing and cleaning up

The people on the street aren't spending money

So, I can see why shibuya doesn't want them .

On the other hand, the government has a responsibility to provide services to all age /social groups. SO if people want to gather around the scramble, the government should provide them with a safe environment inwhich to do so.

It seems a case of old people forgetting they were young once

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Shibuya ward is a joke! Years if bans playing on the road near Harajuku, gone, the rockabilly dancers harassed, any fun thing verboten!

But you want to know the real reason and who is behind it, go to Google maps street view and see what areas have no images/street view!

You search for a store of business and suddenly the street view stops on a major street skips a hundred metres and starts up after "dark zones" these are not police, military, security sensitive areas, they are just politicians and rich people complaining about their building being seen on street view!

Shibuya has the most "dark zones and the most requests to remove areas from Google street view.

The powerful and rich wanting to keep the area for themselves!

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

Mayor Ken Hasebe, its city assembly of 34 elected members, are determined to follow a policy of change, a pedestrianized world of their sanitized view of a visitor that fits a morality, a pitiful brand of hypocrisy, insisting the J national tax payer to finance Hasebe so called values of temperance, respectability as local tax commercial revenues fall.

The sneering, politically blaming the foreigner, a toxic mixture of intolerance and xenophobia.

At the same time, pursue scaremongering narratives, spreading an impending public safety, catastrophic event within Tokyo premiere commercial district, unless all national festivals are cancelled.

In its place promoting presenting a ludicrous preposterous danger of an influx of youth culture that only wishes to spend one day singing and dancing in the new year, whilst shockingly supping an alcoholic beverage.

Well so be it then, however, if local business and commercial revenues drop, no pandemic cap in hand fallback to the central tax payer.

Local constituency residents voted for Mayor Ken Hasebe, then they are stuck with his policies and must foot the bill.

Mayor Ken Hasebe and his merry band of self-important Calvinist priggery, masquerading as conformity, exaggerated propriety, when in reality Hasebe is incapable, incompetent in managing even the most inconsequential event let alone Japan new year celebrations.

-18 ( +12 / -30 )

carpslidy

Today 10:54 am JST

Shibuya don't want the cost of policing and cleaning up

> The people on the street aren't spending money

What a strange thinking!

This was the same argument in Akihabara to ban cosplay on Sunday.

Do you think people go there just go happy New year and leave?

No they by food before, the buy booze, they will go to bars after, pay a taxi home, etc...

The same for the Sunday street performers, bans near Harajuku and cosplay in Akihabara, people went to see them then went shopping, eating, drinking!

The only people that don't like these things are the rich powerful that bought expensive condos in those areas and now want to keep the area for themselves!

The vast majority living in these areas knew very well what they were like before they moved there now they want to stop others from enjoying them.

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

Anyone thinking this isn't a Shibuya council xenophobic move, read this again:

Shibuya is discouraging even sober on-the-street celebrations, cancelling a planned countdown-to-midnight event with the statement “In view of the increased number of visitors since the summer

Anyone thinking they mean Japanese visitors is living in a Fantasy.

We have been told about how Japan has had a large increase this year in foreign tourists, and suddenly we get this!

-13 ( +14 / -27 )

Antiquesaving,

My Mother and Father took me to those fun rockabilly, I was to young to remember where, it was the highlight moment I remember.

Mum and Dad dressed up. won't go into that.

But times have clearly changed.

Has some sections of J society forgotten what it is, to be young free and frivolous?

The ever present intolerant elderly voter holding sway even in Tokyo essential commercial business district, triggering the stench of a characteristic odor of future decline?

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

I am too old to go and never been interested in those kind of mass gathering, although I went once 23 years ago to Shibuya. No issues at that time.

The decision is a shame and we can only expect more crowd in Shinjuku, Ikebukuro like for Halloween

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Antiquesaving

Today 11:17 am JST

carpslidy

Today 10:54 am JST

Shibuya don't want the cost of policing and cleaning up

The people on the street aren't spending money

What a strange thinking!

This was the same argument in Akihabara to ban cosplay on Sunday.

Do you think people go there just go happy New year and leave?

No they by food before, the buy booze, they will go to bars after, pay a taxi home, etc...

As I said I think Shibuya should be holding street events as a social responsibility, but regarding economics I disagree

Most of the people attending outdoor free events are buying cheap booze and food at convenience stores at taking the train home

Unfortunately 30 years of economic decline has meant kids on their early 20's aren't popping champagne in clubs at midnight

Thy're drinking haichu from cans and rushing for the last train

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The party poopers strike again. Hope the lost revenues are high.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Can’t wait for shibuya to start begging people to come back. Shibuya hasn’t been updated in so many years and have only 2 draws due to marketing the busy madness of the crossing and hachiko and the drugged cat that often is now seen with it. As for the rest it’s nothing special. In fact it’s dirty compared with other areas. They don’t want people to go there just say it. I’m sure the tokyo people can find another welcoming area to visit.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I am so offended that I won’t go again! Don’t really get the draw of that place unless you like a labyrinth that is ALWAYS under construction.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

carpslidy

Today 11:48 am JST

You know all that from facts?

Please give us the data to back up your claims!

I know several bar and Izakaya owners in Shibuya, they would disagree with you as after midnight they are packed until morning on New year's Eve!

Standing room only! It is one or was one of their busiest nights of the year!

Both my adult children pre-covid would work for one friend's bar as extra staff especially since they speak 3 languages.

They did this all through university for extra money and never once had any problems or incidences!

This is just crabby old people that don't like seeing others enjoying themselves and especially foreigners!

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

Just two days, lets call it five for the preparations, to turn Shibuya ward into a go to destination, to fully celebrate, enjoy these festivals of fun,.

Allow managed street parties with the help support of the businesses and commercial retail sector, all could be managed with smart engagement of resource.

Spread out the crowds to sponsored events.

All I can sense is a opportunity in Tokyo capital of a shopping extravaganza missed.

Mayor Ken Hasebe, is Mr Negativity, Mr Shut Up, we are not willing to innovate, or create a new throught process.

Mr Yesterday, stale threadbare, to create any possibility of a future that brings together the atmosphere of enjoyment and amusement.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

All of this hair-tearing over a place to get drunk on New Years? Is there no alternative place? How about a party with friends. Or maybe an elegant evening with your partner. What is the big deal about partying with thousands of strangers?

1 ( +9 / -8 )

just because you shut all that down doesn't mean that new groups of people will start coming. 

That is not a problem when the purpose is not to bring other new groups of people, just prevent the events.

I think business owners need to learn that with positives comes negatives.

That applies also in the opposite way, owners may not be fine with the amount of resources that are necessary to control crowds, or becoming yet another name that is automatically related with a tragedy.

the government should provide them with a safe environment inwhich to do so.

But if that becomes too expensive to be viable there is another option, not allowing the event in the first place.

The sneering, politically blaming the foreigner, a toxic mixture of intolerance and xenophobia.

I have only seen criticism of all people attending the events in general, not anything specifically blaming only the foreigners.

catastrophic event within Tokyo premiere commercial district, unless all national festivals are cancelled.

that makes no sense, if a place is willing to assume the responsibility of guaranteeing the safety any event can still takes place, Shibuya do not se a gain for these events. Other places have done the same, specially this year where a very high number of people were expected to attend and safety becoming much more difficult to provide.

Local constituency residents voted for Mayor Ken Hasebe, then they are stuck with his policies and must foot the bill.

And if they are happy with the measures and costs the opposite also apply.

No they by food before, the buy booze, they will go to bars after, pay a taxi home, etc.

To what degree? enough to offset the costs of holding the event safely? to make this point some evidence would be required. As other comments say it is perfectly possible people consume the cheapest options and do not represent enough of a benefit (compared with a situation without the event) to justify holding it.

Anyone thinking they mean Japanese visitors is living in a Fantasy.

Nobody made measures that applied only to foreigners, but to all visitors in general.

5 ( +20 / -15 )

virusrex, two days, let call it ten for prep.

Please, if a capital, Tokyo, in this case it's go to shopping and commercial district, it's elected Major, cannot or is incapable of creating a New Year event with the parks and recourses at hand, then resign.

Sorry, no excuses this is a failure office, criminal commercial and business incompetence.

One chance, that is it, once you fallback on it can't be done, it is time to resign.

Mayor Ken Hasebe is yesterdays man. not willing to rise to a challenge.

Mr I can't, I won't, to engage the support of business and commercial necessities, to unite, create a New Years event/s that can project a sector, over just a period of days attracting future growth.

.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Please, if a capital, Tokyo, in this case it's go to shopping and commercial district, it's elected Major, cannot or is incapable of creating a New Year event with the parks and recourses at hand, then resign.

Why? that makes no sense, a huge event with huge crowds needs a huge investment also to hold it safely, if the people of that place do not see a benefit from that why is there any need to hold it? Recognizing that the local people do not wish something done in their location and therefore not willing to let the resources be used for it is a perfectly valid option and part of what the government should do.

This is not an excuse, is a perfectly valid explanation.

Is there anything that you strongly feel is not positive but other people would like to make an event around? imagine that this event is projected to be done at your place of residence, work, etc. but the people that actually live or work there in their majority share your opinion that this event is not something positive, and they are not willing to let money originally destined for other purposes be used for this.

Would you accept if someone outside of the location criticizes it as inept for "not being able to get the money to do it"? is that a reason enough to force you to hold that event?

4 ( +15 / -11 )

MocheakeToday  11:48 am JST

The party poopers strike again. Hope the lost revenues are high.

You seriously think that those who drink on the streets and attend these outdoor events are spending a lot of money?? They're buying a few cans of booze from the conbini. That's why stores, bars, and restaurants in Shibuya don't care if these people don't come to Shibuya. Businesses want those who can and are willing to spend more money in their establishments. The costs of cleaning up, dealing with drunks and vandals, the petty money spent by street revelers means Shibuya spends more than it makes.

There is no high revenue to lose as well as no profit. If businesses were losing money because of these decisions, there would be a new mayor and municipal government.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

virusrex,

Tokyo most prestigious shopping district need revenue stability.

The most commercial, marketing, promotional events require management outside of any bureaucracy or political agenda.

There is more than ample resources, venues, parks within the shopping and commercial district to accommodate a new years celebrations.

However the new years festivities must be own and managed supported by the community.

To suggest to the contrary is simply fallacious, flawed.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Tokyo most prestigious shopping district need revenue stability.

What makes you think it is struggling to get it?

The most commercial, marketing, promotional events require management outside of any bureaucracy or political agenda.

What evidence do you have that it is required or even better to have no regulatory input from the government? specially when this argument is used to support holding an event where nobody is willing to invest the necessary resources to do it safely?

There is more than ample resources, venues, parks within the shopping and commercial district to accommodate a new years celebrations.

The locals do not want to invest the resources, what authority do you think you have to force them to do it?

To suggest to the contrary is simply fallacious, flawed.

My suggestion is that as long as the population of the place are not interested in investing their resources in guaranteeing the safety of such a huge event nobody has the authority to force them to do it. And the only appropiate response from the government is to do what their constituents wish.

The simple fact that you choose to ignore the very clear example that shows why your position is not valid demonstrate you have no argument against it.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

All of this hair-tearing over a place to get drunk on New Years? Is there no alternative place? How about a party with friends. Or maybe an elegant evening with your partner. What is the big deal about partying with thousands of strangers?

Exactly. Stick to partying with loved ones and friends in one if the thousands of izakaya, bars, pubs and clubs of Tokyo. Drink til you drop and bring in the New Year!

Not stumbling around drunk outside, cans in hand, with random strangers. Partying outside in winter is not a smart idea.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is not just one sector or Shibuya in isolation.

Japan GDP Growth Rate...

https://tradingeconomics.com/japan/gdp-growth

Look, virusrex, I don't expect you to take my word for it.

Mayor Ken Hasebe is a just a symptom, a reflection of the mediocracy associated with Japan's political entitled elite.

A pretence that a mandate for office is a means to sit and fiddle as the economy burns.

My recent short trip to our offices in Nagoya have proven that the next generation needs to be provided with the authority and responsibility, the confidence for our company future to move forward.

We do well, we could do better.

This brings me to Mayor Ken Hasebe, his unwillingness to own the fact that to sit back and do nothing is simply unacceptable, i could put it down to laziness, however I sense an lack of basic entrepreneurial nuance.

Shibuya requires skilled outside commercial business management.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Mayor Ken Hasebe is a just a symptom

He is just reflecting what the people that elected him want. You can agree or not with them about what they want about Shibuya, but that does not make the decision so support the opinion of the people wrong.

Is Shibuya economy burning? is there any report that says huge events would be an effective way to correct this?

Not agreeing with what the people of Shibuya want to do is not an argument to say they are wrong by doing it, after all it is not like other locations are lining up to take care of the events once Shibuya passes on them. That would indicate they are not as automatically beneficial as you seem to think.

You personally think Shibuya should take a risk, but unless you have some evidence (at least a good analysis made by someone expert on the topic) that this would be a good bet the only valid conclusion is that it can be a better call for the city to not have the events since they must have much more information to take that decision than you.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Killjoy. Shibuya of the 2020s.

Bring me back to the all-night movies, trains running 24 hours, drinking and bars open all night of old Japan's New Year's.

Back then NO stores were open from the 1st to the 3rd so oseichi was somewhat of a necessity. That I don't miss.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

No virusrex, I am simply suggesting that Shibuya economic management and some short/median term policing polices be handled by a 2 tiers independent business minded authority.

I don't believe the current structure serves the community competently.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Crowed control is almost impossible when half are DRUNK and or Impaired.

As always the stupid acts of the few leads to the punishment of the majority, SAD but Understandable.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

No virusrex, I am simply suggesting that Shibuya economic management and some short/median term policing polices be handled by a 2 tiers independent business minded authority.

But that suggestion depends on your claim they are making a mistake now, without any argument or evidence to indicate this. You have presented nothing that would prove the independent business minded authority would make better decisions for the people living in Shibuya or even that they would say having difficult to control huge public events was desirable.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I gotta say at least the mayor is consistent. I was sure that Hallowe'en would be JUST Hallowe'en, and he'd be all hypocritical and not care about the drunkness mess of New Year's. Still not closing the izakayas and banning drinking parties, but at least, as I said, he's being somewhat consistent.

That said, if he keeps this up Tokyo will outrank Nagoya soon as Japan's most boring city.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

New Year's celebrations in Shibuya haven't been the hot mess Halloween was. Looks like the city is making a PSA that things are going to change and the brakes put on all the hanging out drinking alcohol that is becoming too normal now.

Shibuya should ban all those gaijin 'influencers' and 'creators' that strut around with cameras strapped to their wrists, or those cameras on sticks etc and don't give a damn who's getting caught on their live streams or videos posted on youtube or x or wherever.

Tired of these peter pans who are mostly dudes yelling out to draw attention to themselves and are still living out their teen years in their 20s and even 30s, 40s and 50s. Saw one recently, the loser with red color in his dreads who's been seen around Shibuya filming for a while now and saying that the J girls are eyeing him off - including ones who a dude in his 40s shouldn't be interested in - and comments about their personal assets. If the ban on New Year partying in Shibuya's streets keeps desperados like him away then there's another positive.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Lol at the comment here accusing Mayor Hasabe of 'imported Calvinist priggery'. Yeah, right, that comment is as dumb as those narcissistic 'influencers' and 'creators' pissing off other people in Shibuya.

One of the things that was consistent in places like Shibuya in Tokyo for a long time was the Japanese emphasis on enjoying drinking alcohol in a way that made use of the bars and restaurants and it was clear where drinking behavior including getting noisy was focused.

But for a while now the groups of people including foreigners drinking on the sidewalks, outside the station and conbini as well as other places where people are trying to pass through have increased to the point of annoying and obstructing the public. Add to that the endless filming not only of the dumb antics of the self-styled gaijin'influencers' and 'creators'but of strangers who have jack to do with them, and it's obvious that something has to be done.

And can somebody tell those people that Japanese people don't carry cans of alcohol onto trains and hang around in the station on the platforms drinking it. The Japanese have their own ways to do that like in ramen places etc in the station. Time for the J police to do more about annoying foreigners - too bad if they start claiming discrimination. It's not, it's called stick to Japanese drinking norms.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

LOL at the comment here accusing foreigners and only foreigners of 'drinking on the sidewalks, outside the station and conbini', 'those gaijin 'influencers' and 'creators' that strut around with cameras', 'that Japanese people don't carry cans of alcohol onto trains and hang around in the station on the platforms drinking it', and 'Japanese drinking norms.' That last one is hilarious.

Seen plenty of Japanese doing all those things and more. Not just 'self-styled gaijin'. And I don't even live in Tokyo.

As for stopping people consuming alcohol in certain areas of Shibuya, I have no problem. So long as it's consistently enforced on foreigners and Japanese alike. Besides, why not just go somewhere else? Shibuya is a bit of dump these days.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Great news!!..

Excellent, well done..

Thanks Shibuya ward..

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

But not the the izakaya because this is Japan.

And????....

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Shibuya used to be the go-to place for all things fun. As the years passed it has slowly been re-branded as a Salaryman paradise. It's so sad as there is nothing special about Shibuya anymore. Hachiko has moved on.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

quote: As always the stupid acts of the few leads to the punishment of the majority, SAD but Understandable.

No, not understandable. The stupid acts of the few should lead to the punishment of the few. That's not rocket science.

quote: that’s the world we’re living in in 2023/2024.

The Chinese way of doing things has been rolled out globally. Xi will be pleased.

If Shibuya doesn't want tourists having fun, local or foreign, it should delist entirely from sites like Trip Advisor. It may be a good thing to pull the area from it anyway, so people don't go there not realising that there is a ban on having a good time, and get into trouble. The odd mention of this on the JT isn't enough. They could run a 'Stay away from Shibuya' campaign to keep people away, and close down the attractions there - cafes, shops, music spaces, cinemas, replacing them with offices. It's an opportunity for other parts of Tokyo to step up and cannibalise their trade. Just banning things and filling the place with cops is a bit lazy. If you are going to do something, do it properly.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, they just want to suck the fun out of everything, don't they? They do realize what a blow to businesses this nonsense will have in the long run, right? Another area of Tokyo will eventually become established as the "fun area" and thus, taking customers there. New Year's happens but once a year; why can't they just get their act together and set up proper protocols and procedures for crowd control and such? Other countries handle it just fine.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

In Japan there is a theme that it is better that 99 people are unable to to enjoy themselves rather than 1 person be be inconvenienced.

Yes, there might be a bit of mess and drunkenness, but that's just part of life.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

A misquote Blacksamurai.

Self-important Calvinist priggery....

However doltish you might find such an opinion.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

 The stupid acts of the few should lead to the punishment of the few. That's not rocket science.

The "punishment" for all is simply recognizing there is no realistic way to stop people misbehaving in the middle of a crowd. The consequence is that a general rule affecting everybody becomes necessary. That is nothing new and it can be said the same for most of rules you already obey.

If Shibuya doesn't want tourists having fun, local or foreign, it should delist entirely from sites like Trip Advisor. 

Who says Shibuya don't want tourists? what they don't want are giant events with huge crowds that require a lot of effort and resources to be held safely. As much as you can think this is the only way to have fun in Shibuya this is not the case.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

There's a mistaken idea here among some commenters that bannng people milling around on New Year's Eve drinking alcohol and blocking the sidewalkis, open areas, yelling drunkenly while filming people who haven't given permission etc is 'bad for business'.

A New Year's countdown is just like Halloween in Shibuya - a novelty. It aint Japanese and doesn't have a Japanese focus. Traditionally the New Year in Japan is a time for relaxed celebration and the trend of crowds especially foreigners hanging out drinking alcohol close to the stations and shopping areas in Shibuya is obviously something new.

Having to move past these people especially when nowadays you'll be put on some loud narcissist's 'live stream' without your permission is a huge turn off for most people - except the ones buying cheap alcohol from the conbinis and drinking it wherever. Mayor Hasabe wants to curb this while the New Year countdown is still new so there won't be the issues surrounding Halloween. Nothing wrong with that.

As somebody who has lived in Tokyo for years, I agree with Japanese people who tell me they've had enough of people's street drinking and cameras making their shopping and eating/drinking pleasures difficult and a constant meiwaku.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Japan Today carried out an interview with Ken Hasebe published Nov 2017 his first term as Mayor.

'Turning differences into strength': An interview with Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe

https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/%E2%80%9Cturning-differences-into-strength%E2%80%9D-an-interview-with-shibuya-mayor-ken-hasebe

“Building a city on a par with London, Paris and New York. A truly internationally developed city.”

An amicable likable fellow, a committed supporter for the LGBTQ Tokyo pride community.

What is clear, officialdom, bureaucracy, changes a person from enterprising risk taker, a creator sensing new new opportunities into a zealot, a jobsworth, the voice of disapproval, "I can't, I won't, its too much work/trouble", even to the extent of invoking the tragedy in Seoul to cynically fear monger.

For Ken Hasebe, life is a constant torment of drunken foreign tourists, and a youth culture he has grown to despise.

Of course the puritan hordes will be lock step behind hissing booing him on, harassing, how dare you loiter, noisy foreigners.

To such an extent Ken Hasebe only action is to cancel new years festivities in Tokyo's major shopping/tourist destination.

* *
-4 ( +2 / -6 )

View the drunken hooligans.....

Tokyo Shibuya New Year Eve 2023 Countdown // 4K HDR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNTRm5wO8fM

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

even to the extent of invoking the tragedy in Seoul to cynically fear monger.

How is an event caused by the lack of security fear mongering? the argument is that there is a real possibility for things going out of control that makes huge investments not only desirable but absolutely necessary to host those kinds of events. You have still not argued how this huge investment is justified, specially when the local population is not interested in doing it.

For Ken Hasebe, life is a constant torment of drunken foreign tourists, and a youth culture he has grown to despise.

Exaggerating is not an argument either, what is wrong with not wanting drunken tourists from anywhere spoiling the image of the place? If the locals say this is a problem worth doing something (specially in the context of huge crowds that can't be managed safely without spending a lot of resources) what is the problem with the local government acting on it?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The same goes for every other large scale event that happens in Tokyo neighbourhoods and they manage it.

Because those events do represent a benefit for the locals, so they see a point in investing the huge amount of resources necessary to hold them, for Shibuya this is not the case, so they choose not to do it, and instead of irresponsibly just letting it happen without the security they cancel the events, what is difficult to understand about it?

How do you actually know that the majority of Shibuya residents don't want it and not just a more vocal minority?

Have you seen any report where the people living and owning businesses in Shibuya complain about the cancellation? it is not strange to assume the people are on board with a decision of their government when they do not make any complain about it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I knew it. I called it. I was here, on JapanToday, telling you two months ago that immediately after the Halloween moral panic ends, they will invent a new crisis and drum up more public paranoia and fearmongering. This is what they do. They have been doing this cycle every single month for years now. This is what they have been doing since early 2020.

Imagine what it's like to be a young person in this country. For three years, you got screamed at and told to wear a mask even though Covid is not a significant health risk to you. You are endlessly warned about the life-altering dangers of cannabinoids and threatened with draconian legal punishment even though they are becoming legal all around the world. You have no retirement because even people getting their national pension funds today aren't receiving enough to eat and live. And these leaders have the audacity to try to kill the part of Tokyo where young people congregate and drink wherever they feel like. To try and paywall fun. Your only hope in life is to become an underpaid corporate drone who's life revolves around work, and occasionally entertaining your pig boss at the Izakaya or Karaoke parlor.

Nothing will change until young people start aggressively pushing back against the establishment.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

 I knew it. I called it. I was here, on JapanToday, telling you two months ago that immediately after the Halloween moral panic ends, they will invent a new crisis and drum up more public paranoia and fearmongering. 

True.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Argument, debate virusrex?

Here the facts......

Tokyo Shibuya New Year Eve 2023 Countdown // 4K HDR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNTRm5wO8fM

Where is the hooligan element?

Crowded yes, however just fun loving, diversity hugging in hope, many are strangers welcoming in the new year.

One could turn this into a go to destination, a new years festival event, just for one day,

Yes, with street bars and food, smart policing. spread the crowding into manageable local parks.

London does this every year.

To wallow in a morbid melancholy world of wretchedness, where enjoyment sometimes loud, is seen as a disruptive drunken vomiting youth miscreant horde is a sad common refection of a decrepit aging society.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

they will invent a new crisis and drum up more public paranoia and fearmongering. 

What new crisis are you talking about? are you imagining something new? because the reasons given are still the same. No public paranoia, no panic, just validly justify a lack of interest in holding (safely) an event by the locals, so the government simply cancel it instead of holding it without proper safety measures.

You're doing a lot of assuming

Not really, just one thing and that is that a well publicized measure from the local government by not being challenged by the population is therefore being supported by that population, there is nothing strange with doing it.

Where is the hooligan element?

So that is the whole event in all Shibuya? obviously not. Presenting only a peephole view of the whole thing is obviously misrepresenting the situation. You could do the same in Itaewon and present 15 minutes of nothing happening in the same day of the Halloween tragedy, you could even put footage of other years and that would still not be enough to prove the risk do not exist or do not require a lot of resources to be avoided.

The actual arguments you need to prove your point and that you have repeatedly failed to bring are those that say the cancellation is against the wishes of the local population, or against their best interests.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No fun, Shibuya.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Maybe this is an opportunity for Governor Koike to put forward a plan. Locate and support a Tokyo New Year’s Countdown location that could handle the event and welcome it.

I’m not personally interested in large crowds, but this tradition is worldwide and Tokyo should have it. It’s not like Japan is incapable of managing huge gatherings such as the Sumida fireworks, etc.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Indeed Wolfshine. The establishment will kick the bucket soon enough.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

virusrex, you are proving the point that Mayor Ken Hasebe is simply incompetent, incapable of managing a destination event.

It is his pompous nimbyism.

I posted the 2023 countdown because this is the main spectacle Mayor Ken Hasebe is cancelling. This highlights his refusal to develop a competent strategy to promote Shibuya as a safe place for tourists to welcome in the new year.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

virusrex, you are proving the point that Mayor Ken Hasebe is simply incompetent, incapable of managing a destination event.

That is still not the case, and it has been proved repeatedly every time you comment without addressing the example that clearly shows the problem is not incapacity but lack of interest in doing something for no benefit. Ignoring the very real possibility that the event is simply not desirable (even from the economic point of view) do not make this argument disappear.

It is his pompous nimbyism.

That can only apply if you had first proved there is an actual benefit from the event that outweigh the costs and the risks that come with holding it, you have not done such a thing, only blindly assuming this is the case. Looking at how no other place have tried to get those events clearly indicate they are not as beneficial as you want to present them, if they were everybody would jump at the chance of becoming the new host.

This highlights his refusal to develop a competent strategy to promote Shibuya as a safe place for tourists to welcome in the new year.

That is still not true, a huge public event with big crowds is not the only (nor the most profitable) way for tourist to visit Shibuya, the locals are simply saying that they prefer other ways for tourist to visit, likely because it is much easier, safer, and maybe even much more profitable for the business in Shibuya than just lots of people in the street.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

virusrex, please think and read back you comments.

Tokyo, Japan's capital city, Shibuya Tokyo premier shopping tourist district, to close on New Years Day.

Open just for indoor Izakaya parties.

Its countdown celebrations consigned to a past memory.

Because its mayor cannot organise, manage a New Years Celebration.

A Mayor that spouts a string of excuses.

What a message to send to the world,

The mayor of Shibuya cannot is simply incapable of organising a New Years countdown.

Mr no show.

Then move over, make way for people and a team that will and can deal with a challenge.

Take it away from the mayors office.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Because its mayor cannot organise, manage a New Years Celebration.

That is still not the case, and it has been proved repeatedly every time you comment without addressing the example that clearly shows the problem is not incapacity but lack of interest in doing something for no benefit. Ignoring the very real possibility that the event is simply not desirable (even from the economic point of view) do not make this argument disappear.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I won't convince you virusrex, it would be easier for me to volunteer arranging Shibuya News Years Celebrations.

I think I will take my leave.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I won't convince you virusrex

If you don't address the arguments used against your position that is the only result you are going to get, it is much easier to convince other people if you argue by refuting their arguments instead of just ignoring them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'd say the biggest worries are the standards being used. Suppose Virusex is correct that the standard being used is that the events don't bring a positive economic benefit and post a non-zero risk to safety. But is that really a good or adequate standard for a government to restrict freedom of association or the freedom of individual pursuit - because this ban does touch upon those two things.

It's a bit like pointing to one demonstration that turned into a riot and then banning demonstrations because Hey Look there's a case when it went Awry (that's not even in the Same Country) and We Don't Make Money from Demonstrations. We'd have a lot less fun in life if everything had to be justified by economic profit and can be nullified on the slightest whiff of risk. It also promotes social inequality because if everything must be justified by economic profit well then there's clearly a group that's able to pay the extra tab and have their fun.

Is your argument that the risk for an uncontrolled mob completely depends on the date?

Perhaps not the date, but it is not a secret that people don't react the same way to different events. People are likely to be wilder on a Halloween than a New Year Party and that is enough to change the result.

Also, while we are at it, let's go into a touchy area and point out that different Peoples do have different prospensities, much as it might scratch the grain of anti-discrimination advocates. Some demographics do have a higher likelihood of getting wild or violent than others, and a restrictive measure that's necessary on them may not be so for another nationality. That's why referencing an event in a different country can lead to unfortunate results.

Huge reductions of the number of people that went to Shibuya as it was projected, minor incidents instead of something that could have meant a risk for the people there, that would indicate it was successful.

By this kind of correlative measure, the HKNSL was a great success and fully justified, because it avoided "incidents" altogether that could have meant a "risk" for the people there, and there are huge reductions in the number of people who went to demonstrations. It's not like demonstrations earn money anyway ...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Tokyo is becoming the most ‘unfun’ place in Japan!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

But is that really a good or adequate standard for a government to restrict freedom of association or the freedom of individual pursuit

Are people allowed to associate and pursuit individually (something) elsewhere or in other forms? because your argument would then apply to any cancellation of a public event. You can't force a location to invest huge amounts of resources to safeguard an event of the scale this was projected to have. So the only valid option against it is to cancel the event, not to let people have it without safety measures.

We'd have a lot less fun in life if everything had to be justified by economic profit and can be nullified on the slightest whiff of risk.

You would need an analysis that say the risk of these events is negligible EVEN if the city did not invest anything to control the crowds.

Perhaps not the date, but it is not a secret that people don't react the same way to different events.

Which still means you need to provide objective evidence that the people would react in a way that make unnecessary extra resources than usual to keep the risk at background levels, saying people would be wild in a different way do nothing to contradict the position of the Shibuya government.

People are likely to be wilder on a Halloween than a New Year Party

How less likely? to what effect on the need on safety measures? you are arguing against the local government, just saying these measures may not be necessary is not enough, you would have to prove this with arguments and evidence.

Also, while we are at it, let's go into a touchy area and point out that different Peoples do have different prospensities

And deaths by overcrowding have also happened in Japan, so that argument is not valid.

By this kind of correlative measure, the HKNSL was a great success 

And the price was also just not letting people have one public celebration in one specific location? obviously you can't argue costs and benefits are the same.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don't get why some of the people on here who are pro-Halloween/New Year countdown hanging around Shibuya drinking on the streets and filming people you don't know and who haven't given you permission to put them on a live stream or a video for later social media/youtube consumption, have to be so melodramatic.

Young Japanese people have plenty of places to go in Tokyo and other cities and were not 'for three years screamed at and told to wear a mask' as Wolfshine asserts. Japan including its most densely populated city Tokyo was an example to the rest of the world on how to encourage the sense of urgency and responsibility necessary in a pandemic without lockdowns or police getting controversial new powers in other developed countries.

Young Japanese live in a society that has a high level of public safety even now compared to just about everywhere else. This doesn't happen by coincidence - it comes from the culture of expecting a consistent level of respect by citizens and residents towards legitimte authority and social norms. When this changes, then boundaries will be set.

The governing authority of Shibuya obviously doesn't want the drinking and filming in public places to be seen as normal and just something to do - Japanese people do not normally do this. There are places where it is normal for different activities just like Japanese people do not think it is their right to play music at home and have parties that others can hear.

Wolfshine's hysterical accusation that Shibuya's mayor and authorities 'have the audacity to kill the part of Tokyo' where young people - and as anyone can see not so young people like many of the goofy foreigners living out their second teenager fantasies - 'congregate and drink wherever they like' just shows the validity of the Shibuya governance's concerns. It's nobody's 'right' in Japan to be a meiwaku especially where alcohol is concerned - there are specific places and events for letting your hair down - and that's a huge positive.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Is this a thing people do? I've lived in Kanto for eleven years and this is the first I'm hearing of it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

once they start banning good times for a day, inevitably more bans will follow. the totalitarian rulers cannot allow the public to have fun, as it distracts from their sole purpose in life: slave away to support the .1%.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@virusrexDec. 11 06:00 pm JST

You can't force a location to invest huge amounts of resources to safeguard an event of the scale this was projected to have.

I'd suggest that by this logic, we can't have protests and demonstrations of any significant scale, because it would "force" the location where they are to take place to "invest huge amounts of resources" to safeguard an event.

Are people allowed to associate and pursuit individually (something) elsewhere or in other forms?

Two problems. First, this reeks of the Russian practice of allowing protests, but only in very carefully designated (and often undesirable) areas.

Second, once you allow this kind of thing in principle, then we can reasonably predict other jurisdictions will also use the "lack of profit" and "safety" arguments to ban shifting it onto their soil as well, and the ultimate result is that they won't be able to do it "elsewhere".

Which still means you need to provide objective evidence that the people would react in a way that make unnecessary extra resources than usual to keep the risk at background levels, saying people would be wild in a different way do nothing to contradict the position of the Shibuya government.

Burden of proof problem here. I'd suggest that in most cases, the burden of proof (and a heavy one) should be on the government wishing to inflict oppression under any pretext, not the citizenry. As you allude to, the government usually has more resources to conduct studies than hapless civilians, yet if we just defer to their "superior judgments" we soon are likely to have very few rights left because they can always generate a report that there will be "some risk" and push the burden onto the citizenry to prove them wrong - during which they oppress the citizenry. This is the more so if we defer to their "superior judgments" before they have demonstrated they have indeed used their superior analysis abilities to generate an objective solution.

And the price was also just not letting people have one public celebration in one specific location? obviously you can't argue costs and benefits are the same.

I am pointing out the fundamental direction of both these actions are the same. As for magnitude, as the idea that government can get away with this become normalized, we can expect to see more of these. I suggest we nip these thoughts in the bud.

=

Also, as it is as a group Japanese already have too great a slant against the use of their rights where it would cause any inconvenience on anyone else. You see this as countless Japanese employees don't feel able to use their holidays because it would inconvenience their coworkers. Or leave at 5PM.

You see this as people install million yen sound isolation rooms into tiny apartments just so they can play acoustic piano (I'm not talking about drums or electric guitar hooked to 2kW amplifiers) in their apartments, because God forbid a little noise leaks Into the neighboring apartment. Or how about old men complaining about the noise of kids playing.

These New Year Parties and Halloween parties double as occasions where, for just one day, Japanese feel it is OK to assert their rights to have a bit of fun at the expense of others, which make them precious. And it is precious that the societal norm for once sides with the noise-makers rather than their "victims".

At least at this point in the game, as a group Japanese need to learn to tolerate other people using their rights, and in fact to grow past "tolerance" into treating it as a matter-of-course so they don't feel like they are suffering. My neighbor's piano noises leak into my apartment, and I don't think I'm suffering. I don't "suffer" when my colleagues fully empty their vacations in one stretch. These latest movements are yet another victory for those who feel fun can only be to the extent it causes zero inconvenience, and that's just not very healthy for Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I'd suggest that by this logic, we can't have protests and demonstrations of any significant scale,

No, by this logic you could not force a place to have celebrations, there is an obvious difference, the value of protests and demonstrations is different so the government have a higher responsibility to ensure a minimum degree of security for them.

Two problems. First, this reeks of the Russian practice of allowing protests, but only in very carefully designated (and often undesirable) areas.

Not at all, because this is not a protest but a celebration, pretending they are equivalent is obviously invalid.

then we can reasonably predict other jurisdictions will also use the "lack of profit" and "safety" arguments to ban shifting it onto their soil as well

And without any argument to refute these claims you can't force those jurisdictions to hold those events and make the investment of resources (and assume also the negative consequences). If the event is supposedly so beneficial for the location, other places would not have problem with holding it, right?

Burden of proof problem here

Exactly, a location is not interested in holding an event and consider it not beneficial. If you want to force (because there is no other word) this event the least you need to prove is that it would benefit that location, else you have no argument. This is not oppressions, people are free to celebrate as they wish, just not in a way and location that is not beneficial to the locals. If someone really really want to make a party in your house, would you need to pay a professional to make a cost/benefit analysis? would a good enough insurance policy justify the people forcing that party in your house?

As for magnitude, as the idea that government can get away with this become normalized

There is nothing wrong with that, a government that does something according to the interests of its constituents is not wrong, specially because there is no infringement of the rights of anybody, people can still celebrate way, just not in that specific way and location.

Also, as it is as a group Japanese already have too great a slant against the use of their rights where it would cause any inconvenience on anyone else

The people of Shibuya do not think that way, and there are plenty of examples of problems happening to give them reason for this.

These New Year Parties and Halloween parties double as occasions where, for just one day, Japanese feel it is OK to assert their rights to have a bit of fun at the expense of others

Which still does not mean you can force the celebration, it is irrelevant how the people wishing to celebrate this way feel, you have not yet justified forcing those wishes and expenses on the locals. You can try to convince the locals, but for that you need arguments, and since you already justified not even doing a study of cost/benefits you limited the resources you could use to do it.

And if the locals still consider the investment (and problems) too high a price they are perfectly justified in asserting their rights and cancel an event. You would just be recognizing you could not convince them.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Tokyo, the new "get out" city.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think a statement needs to be made... young people, heck, all people need to stop totally going to Shibuya for say 3 months. Stop shopping and stop eating and drinking there. If the govt. there wants a nice quiet small town feel... give them one but be careful of "what you wish for".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I think a statement needs to be made... young people, heck, all people need to stop totally going to Shibuya for say 3 months

That is just wishful thinking, for all you know the people that spend the most in Shibuya are happy with the lack of public massive celebrations. Those that have reservations in expensive places are not going to complain about not having to deal with crowds on their way there or when they leave.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

once they start banning good times for a day, inevitably more bans will follow. the totalitarian rulers cannot allow the public to have fun, as it distracts from their sole purpose in life: slave away to support the .1%.

That is a little dramatic.

The Shibuya Ward govt. simply don't want the streets cluttered with thousands of folk, drinking cheap 7-11 cans of chu-hi and being a public risk of crowd crush, accidents etc. Hundreds of police need to be put in place for these events.

There are literally thousands of venues in Tokyo revelers should be enjoying seeing in the New Year and countdown. Drink till you drop by all means, party hardcore - nothing wrong with that! Just not on the streets where it becomes dangerous for everyone. And who on earth wants to party in the freezing cold for hours?!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I'd suggest that by this logic, we can't have protests and demonstrations of any significant scale, because it would "force" the location where they are to take place to "invest huge amounts of resources" to safeguard an event.

Good point.

The other side is confused.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good point.

The other side is confused

The point has been already debunked, what arguments do you have against the very clear, valid reasons that prove demonstrations and celebrations are not equivalent?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Not at all, because this is not a protest but a celebration, pretending they are equivalent is obviously invalid.

Go read the Constitution - do you see anything specifically about protests? No you don't. You just see one line about "assembly". The right to protest and demonstrations is just inferred, an offshoot, off the general right to assembly. This is consistent with the practice of the United States, and the European Convention of Human Rights.

value of protests and demonstrations

The right of assembly should not be dependent on the assessed value of the event, and we should certainly avoid the government being the assessor of this worth. Besides, why is say a New Year's Party necessarily less valuable than a demonstration?

If we assume we avoid serious unfortunate accidents, at least at the end of the party, most people have had fun - that is, they achieved what they set out to do. For a demonstration, all too often you go out and bake yourself in the sun for a full day - and the government proceeds with what it is doing anyway - what you did was in a sense, worthless.

The rest of your arguments apply equally well to protests, and as I've said, the law simply doesn't distinguish between protests and non-protest assembly.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is the proof: If you give an inch, they take a mile.

When is this generation going to rage and flex its consumer power? You can bring these people these people who take away from you to their knees.

OTH, it's not such a big problem. They haven't been exposed to that culture. We won't teach them that culture. Nothing to be upset over, if you don't know what you're missing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Go read the Constitution - do you see anything specifically about protests? No you don't

The constitution guarantees the freedom of assembly and association, if you personally do not see any difference in the value for society from using that freedom to protest for social change, etc. and think it has the same value than having a party at an specific location that is sad but it is not an argument.

The right of assembly should not be dependent on the assessed value of the event

When safeguarding that right depends on an important expense of resources then it definitely can be dependent. Shibuya thinks it is justified to spend less resources by cancelling this public event than by guaranteeing its safety, and you have not successfully argued that letting people enjoy themselves in this specific way is as important as protesting, so you have not refuted the right of the people of Shibuya of making this decision.

Besides, why is say a New Year's Party necessarily less valuable than a demonstration?

What is the value of a party in a specific location? what is the value of allowing demonstrations? do you think is the same? because that makes no sense. I can find many references that talk about the importance of protecting the right of protesting, could not find even one that says the same for the right of partying in an specific location.

For a demonstration, all too often you go out and bake yourself in the sun for a full day - and the government proceeds with what it is doing anyway - what you did was in a sense, worthless.

But the government can be made responsible for the safety of those protesting, because it is a much more important right than just the right to party in one specific location even if the residents of that location do not want to host that party.

The rest of your arguments apply equally well to protests

And since your whole argument is that parties should be imposed on people that do not wish to host them as much as a protest it becomes clear there is a huge difference, needing this obviously invalid equivalence to have that argument also makes it clear you have no real argument.

When is this generation going to rage and flex its consumer power? 

How do you know this is not exactly an example of this generation raging (against the public event) and flexing their consumer power (in the business that actually give important income to the locals) to get back the streets of Shibuya?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The way some commenters are bleating about the need for Halloween and New Year Countdown in Shibuya with the versions we've seen here, you'd think that these are some kind of cultural treasure or tradition here. They aint. Both of these are imports by foreigners in the case of Halloween and from foreign cities in the case of the New Year Countdown.

And milling about the streets obstructing others dressed in Halloween costumes while drinking alcohol isn't the point of Halloween celebrations elsewhere. It came about in Shibuya because foreigners were told not to stand on the Yamanote Loop line and go round and round while business commuters, shoppers etc got inconvenienced. So they hung around the streets which was fine until more and more joined in, people openly starting bringing alcohol to the streets and drinking it and then we had that serious incident of douches jumping on cars and causing real disruption.

Regardless of whether Japanese or foreigners were doing all that, Shibuya's authorities have wisely decided to stop all this in its tracks. Now. Including what could be yet another alcohol fest in the streets for the New Year Countdown. And no, don't compare any of this with Germany's Oktoberfest as another foreigner said to me recently. No comparison with that traditional event to let your hair down and taking place in designated areas with participants understanding the spoken and unspoken rules.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Blacksamurai

You don’t need permission to film in public in Japan.

Walking in Tokyo there are many cameras that will record your movements 24 hours a day

Don't like it then wear a hat and a mask

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@virusrexToday 01:25 pm JST

constitution guarantees the freedom of assembly and association

Exactly. Protest is not placed on some pedestal. There's probably a reason for that. There are some constitutions where protest is an explicitly separated right from regular assembly, but Japan's is not one of them. I'd also point out that such Constitutions include oh, the PRC Constitution - so do people who place the right of protest on a pedestal happen to be same as the ones who value this right less to begin with?

As far as the value of the causes that go behind the protests, there are worthy ones. But there are also many that are of little or even negative worth. For example, a "pro-life" protest literally advocates for shafting the rights of women. We are going into negative worth here yet no one will deny the anti-abortionists their right to protest. When you average the worthy ones and the less worthy ones, the answer is likely a wash and a party that at least gets the partiers what they want may well be slightly on the better half of average. That's why the argument doesn't really work, and we shouldn't rate assemblies by their value.

so you have not refuted the right of the people of Shibuya of making this decision.

To begin with, is it even the "right of the people of Shibuya"? Is it like the Shibuyans did a referendum? Or did the Ward government just purport to speak in their name? If they even consulted anyone, is it the heads-of-large-businesses, who have clearly different priorities from the regular pleb?

Besides, the very purpose of the Constitution is to protect freedoms that shouldn't be left to the mercuriality or selfishness of populism. Suppose the National Diet passed a law banning on-street parties all over the country. Would you consider that constitutional? I won't - for the same reasons as above. And if so, a mere municipality should not be allowed to make that decision even if they have a genuine majority.

You have to remember that Japan is a de facto one party State - whether you think it's because of unsavory means or the simple reality the other parties have so little experience as the government that Japanese would have to be very desperate before they let the other parties try, Japan is basically the LDP who usually holds a majority. The only thing holding them back from our rights is ingrained psychological limits and this kind of thing is a sign of degrading psychological barriers, which is dangerous no matter how you wish to minimize it.

 I can find many references that talk about the importance of protecting the right of protesting, could not find even one that says the same for the right of partying in an specific location.

I grant you that the literature usually focuses on the demonstration. I'd suggest, however, it's because governments don't usually go out of their way to deny an occasional party - at least if it is deemed to be politically innocent. If it is not politically innocent then the party is effectively a demonstration.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There's probably a reason for that

The right to impose a party in a location is not that reason, protests are a much more likely candidate.

It does not have to be separated, the much higher value of protests should be obvious for anybody, that is why they get a priority even if by definition people are against them. Being worthy or not is of course a separate issue, the main one is to protect the right of people to protest.

To begin with, is it even the "right of the people of Shibuya"? 

What do you think is the role of the local government? if they represent the will of the people they surely are acting properly. Do you have any evidence of people protesting the measures taken by their government? If not there is not much problem assuming they are supporting them.

Besides, the very purpose of the Constitution is to protect freedoms that shouldn't be left to the mercuriality or selfishness of populism

Like the freedom of a location to decide not to be held responsible of the safety of a huge event with crowds, even people would like to impose themselves on that location with the sole purpose of having fun.

I grant you that the literature usually focuses on the demonstration. I'd suggest, however, it's because governments don't usually go out of their way to deny an occasional party

This is hardly the first time or place where it happens, it should be then obvious protests are a much higher priority, something easy to understand. The right of the people to impose their wishes to have fun in a location against the desires of the locals is not exactly something people dedicate time to defend.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@virusrexToday 05:05 pm JST

As I've said, the law (in Japan) simply makes no distinction between protests and other forms of assembly, because it is dangerous to assign different worths to different kinds of assembly and discriminate on that basis. Internally, we may in our hearts rate various assemblies, but as far as the law is concerned we deem them equal, and as I've said an assembly for party may not be the "best" among the causes, but it's probably far from the worst. Overall, I'd say it's not a "laggard" or "luggage".

What do you think is the role of the local government? if they represent the will of the people they surely are acting properly. Do you have any evidence of people protesting the measures taken by their government? If not there is not much problem assuming they are supporting them.

I live in Hong Kong and not Blue. Do I have to go on?

OK, to preempt any protests that Japan is not China ... even assuming protests are perfectly safe, they represent significant outlays of time and discomfort for unclear results. The maximum healthy inference you can make is that Shibuyans aren't so offended by this decision they decide to lose a Sunday to make a protest with unclear prospects. 

Like the freedom of a location to decide not to be held responsible of the safety of a huge event with crowds, even people would like to impose themselves on that location with the sole purpose of having fun.

That's not a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom. If you can read Japanese, I have grabbed my law textbook and chosen some quotes for you:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1dacbJ9ss-Bslk0J1LOW-7vZms7RAY6scsu1rt6mzc3E/edit?usp=sharing

The most important points being that a) the purpose of the "assembly" is not questioned and b) it's not free discretion to disallow the use of public spaces for such assemblies.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

but as far as the law is concerned we deem them equal

In practice that is obviously not the case. Which in this case is what is important. Nobody can expect for the government to put the same effort in protecting the right of people to protest something and the right of people to party in a very specific way. Therefore it is understandable when a local government decides not to invest resources in safeguarding the later but it would not be the same for the first.

 live in Hong Kong and not Blue. Do I have to go on?

At least until it makes sense in the context of Shibuya.

even assuming protests are perfectly safe, they represent significant outlays of time and discomfort for unclear results

The role of the government is to ensure the safety, not just let people have them, and again I have never seen the justification for protests being correlated to the results they get. That is a really weird argument to use, the important part is the resource being made available, not how effectively is used or even how justified are the people in using it.

That's not a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom

But is a responsibility of the government, which is clearly observed when safety measures are the de facto standard, from a lone police officer for a dozen of protesters to barricades and full police deployment for thousands of people protesting. It is something that is simply much more difficult to justify for people that want to impose their way to make fun in an specific location, specially against the wishes of the locals.

 it's not free discretion to disallow the use of public spaces for such assemblies.

The moment it requires resources to be done safely that becomes necessary in reality. Again, you are trying to argue about imposing expenditure of resources in a location against the wishes of the locals. Shibuya simply is choosing to let people assemble in a much more constricted way, without offering extra benefits (like closing streets or making available transportation after hours) and letting people they are going to do that with the purpose of not having the event.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

We don't need walls of text or philosophical discussions to understand what is going on here.

Ken Hasebe, the mayor of Shibuya, is simply throwing another tantrum, like he did in October. Anybody with any shred of common sense can understand how unnecessary and petty this whole thing is. He's not saving lives or reducing danger, as was proven the last time he did this; he is simply posturing.

There is no "Peter Pan" complex, there is no fair Itaewon comparison, there is no justification. It's clown behavior. Stop pretending it isn't.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

You would think some posters are writing a dissertation. The mayor of Shibuya's actions are not the right ones.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Think about it - the cost of Policing these events has to be footed by the local Tax Payer.... and not everyone wishes to attend them.

However....

The main beneficiaries of such events are generally the Suppliers of Alcoholic drinks, Food stall sellers, Transportation operators, and ironically the Police themselves ... overtime...

New Year's day Celebrations are Global thing, often reported on media channels across the Globe - Tokyo will clearly be off the screens this year, which seems a shame - and may harm Japan's reputation, as people start to question why ?

Some people, generally the younger generation, like to take part in such celebrations, and if properly handled, why not let them do so safely ?

Why not even sell tickets to the "venue", and make it pay for itself as a safe place for all to see-in the new year ? Something similar to the Firework events held around the Country - paid tickets for the best areas, free to use, and managed for other areas.

Sadly, it seems some people in charge have a different view upon the situation, and are not willing to either explain themselves, or listen to alternatives ... for whatever reason.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

At least until it makes sense in the context of Shibuya.

The point is, you can't say everything is hunky-dory as long as people aren't protesting. That's a very poor standard.

never seen the justification for protests being correlated to the results they get.

I agree. However, since you've started the game of requiring "worth" to justify assemblies, well it is self-evident whether an assembly gets the result it aims for is part of its worth, and whether an assembly is likely to get that result is part of the prediction of its worth that precedes any authorization.

de facto standard

Let me point out the "de facto standard" until last year is that the government will take care of New Year and Halloween parties. As for against the locals a) the government doesn't always represent the locals (unfortunately) and b) we are interfering with a constitutional right, which means mere popularity, even if genuine, doesn't cut it.

Again, you are trying to argue about imposing expenditure of resources in a location against the wishes of the locals.

There's no evidence they would spend more than on a protest of comparable size and duration, which you've agreed is a burden the government should be willing to take on. And as I said, the law does not make a differentiation between protest and not-protest, so if you are willing to spend on the protest, you must be willing to spend on the Not-Protest.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I don’t get it, Times Square, NY can pull it off but Shibuya, Tokyo can’t?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don’t get it, Times Square, NY can pull it off but Shibuya, Tokyo can’t?

Yeah apparently not. Gerontoracy rules supreme in these parts.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The point is, you can't say everything is hunky-dory as long as people aren't protesting

Yes you can, the local government can simply not invest resources in facilitating a massive event, people are free so visit the place, but Shibuya simply is not going to go put measures to make it so they can enjoy a having a party outdoors and instead just focus on safety even if that is not conductive for enjoyment, as it happened in Halloween. For a protest the value is completely different, so the pressure to actually accommodate the people is much higher.

I agree. However, since you've started the game of requiring "worth" to justify assemblies

The worth not of every specific demonstration, the worth of people being allowed to demonstrate, which no sane person could think is the same as them being allowed to party in an specific location.

Let me point out the "de facto standard" until last year is that the government will take care of New Year and Halloween parties.

And again, the city can simply decide this standard is not worth the benefits they obtain, so instead of accomodating people to have as much fun while investing a lot to keep that standard they decided to make it the only priority, thus the measures observed in Halloween, focused exclusively on security and not in facilitating the party.

There's no evidence they would spend more than on a protest of comparable size and duration

But since the right of having protests is something much more important to society that is where the pressure to the government to accommodate people is. Which is the argument.

so if you are willing to spend on the protest, you must be willing to spend on the Not-Protest.

Is your argument that the law allowing two things means people must be equally willing to spend extra resources in holding any of them? because that makes no sense. The city can simply focus on safety and leave precisely the measures that attract people away for both, but in case of demonstrations the justifiable pressure to allow something with social value is what makes it also much more worthy to actually facilitate it.

I don’t get it, Times Square, NY can pull it off but Shibuya, Tokyo can’t?

You got it wrong, Times Square is interested in having the event, Shibuya is not. If your neighbor wants to make a huge party for something you consider irrelevant, do you feel that you need to do the same just because you can afford it?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@virusrex Today 06:02 am JST

You got it wrong, Times Square is interested in having the event, Shibuya is not. If your neighbor wants to make a huge party for something you consider irrelevant, do you feel that you need to do the same just because you can afford it?

His basic point is backed by the law, and yours isn't. As I said, the government can't differentiate between different assemblies based on their assessment of their worth. I have even shown you the part in a Law Textbook where it says that (it's even explicit in listing non-protest events as examples). You may have above average knowledge on disease compared to the JapanToday average, but apparently not in Law.

Thus the only defense a government can proffer is that it can't reasonably support the event. From that point of view, if we are to assume any legitimacy in this decision, Shibuya is indeed saying it CAN'T support the event when mere little Times Square can.

The worth not of every specific demonstration, the worth of people being allowed to demonstrate, which no sane person could think is the same as them being allowed to party in an specific location.

If there are any comparisons, it is this. Where a party is non-political, it doesn't threaten the government, and the only way the government can create a problem for itself is to pick a fight by banning the party. The corollary is that if a government will pick a fight to stop something that doesn't threaten it in any way, what reasonable hopes do you have for it allowing something that DOES threaten it?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

His basic point is backed by the law, and yours isn't

What part of the law says Shibuya have to facilitate the party and invest resources in it as long as it can do it? This new argument you are making has not been substantiated with any argument. Shibuya can simply not make any investment in facilitating the event since it would not have the social pressure to do it as it if was a protest.

As I said, the government can't differentiate between different assemblies based on their assessment of their worth

Of course it can, Shibuya is not restricting the right of people to assemble, it is simply not doing anything extra so the people can enjoy it as they did in previous years. You are still trying to deflect the actual argument (that there is nothing justifying Shibuya to hold a party) by discussing something that do not support in any way this supposed duty to do it.

You may have above average knowledge on disease compared to the JapanToday average, but apparently not in Law

Trying to use a law to supposedly justify Shibuya to not only allowing people in public, but to do it with extra measures that would let them enjoy the stay as a party is something easily debunked with simple logic, no special knowledge about law is necessary to demonstrate this.

The corollary is that if a government will pick a fight to stop something that doesn't threaten it in any way, what reasonable hopes do you have for it allowing something that DOES threaten it?

The local government is cancelling an event that is not desired by the locals, people can still go but not expect any special treatment as it was offered in previous years and they are being informed of this in advance. In comparison, have you any evidence that the Shibuya government have made specially difficult to hold a demonstration? Making false equivalences would indicate that you have given up trying to find out more solid arguments.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That sucks! I'm all booked up through the holidays with my wine and champagne, ready to go. Well, when there's a hurdle in front of you, you just jump over it or go to the side.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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