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Koike asks Tokyo restaurants, pubs to shut by 8 p.m.


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I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!!

35 ( +36 / -1 )

don't most izakayas open at 5 or 6pm? so what, theyre going to stay open for two or three hours are they? this is just more posturing from koike, she just acts like shes doing something but doing nothing at all in reality. she is an utter disgrace

10 ( +20 / -10 )

Is this because the virus sleeps all afternoon?

More useless measures taken.

32 ( +32 / -0 )

Effectively, what's going to happen is that more number of people will gather together in izakayas within a shorter period of time. Not sure if this strategy will work, but seems like the Govt legally cannot do more than this. Let's hope people themselves understand the risks and behave in a responsible manner.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Restaurants and Japanese-style izakaya pubs in Tokyo will be requested to shut by 8 p.m. daily as part of emergency measures

The trains between 8 and 9pm should be avoided at all costs.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

Its stuff like this that makes me feel like I live in a country governed by the People's Front of Judea.

"This calls for immediate.....discussion!"

16 ( +16 / -0 )

I have been assured the business in Nagoya falls under essential financial services. So the on site staff are protected.

Logic suggests that if the Izakayas have a short business window the establishments will be packed to the rafters.

So much for social distancing what.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yuriko Koike told a press conference that restaurant operators should stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m., while allowing them to open from 5 a.m.

What? So izakayas will now be able to open at 5am?

The situation of (virus) infections in Tokyo is very urgent," said Koike, adding her administration had given "top priority to protecting the lives of Tokyo residents" in compiling the measures.

No, if protecting the lives of Tokyo residents was the top priority then everything would be closed. Stop lying, we all know why this is happening. You may want it but the government doesn't.

Even Masayoshi Son is letting rip:


9 ( +10 / -1 )

Given the time that people finish work, it head out after dinner for drinks, closing the izakaya at 7pm will mean very little custom. The longer people are in these places and there more drink they are, the easier it will be for the virus to spread.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ahh five am, I see the time frame. OK thats a tad early for knocking back the sake but each to there own.

However in my haste subconsciously read five pm.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hair salons are a crucial business now? No one wants to meet the apocalypse with bad hair, I suppose.

But then again, in some neighborhoods in Japan, hair salons are the only businesses that exist. Like cockroaches, they find a way to survive.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Eventually everyone on earth will have to get exposed to the virus, thru vaccine or other means

3 ( +7 / -4 )

8pm is better, the virus doesn’t like after hours, it could upset it. Only Happy Hour is where it thrives.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Koike is clearly overworked and not making the right decision.

Or she forgot to take her meds or took too much.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How does this help slow the spread of the virus? This is akin to rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Many companies are encouraging off peak commuting so there’s would be plenty of salarymen who get off work at 3pm and drink until 8pm.

To be honest, many of these establishments will only keep new customers out at 8pm and allow people already inside to drinking.

With nomikai so ingrained in Japanese culture, you can bet people will keep having nomikais. Even people who are taking the disease seriously would have no choice but to accept their senpai or boss’s invitation, or they would be ostracized.

Combined with restricted access to testing, Japan is heading for disaster. Constant harassment and repression of dissent don’t help either.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Koike wanted them all closed....its the moronic Abe central govt that wanted to keep as much as possible open...this is on him.

My bad Its moronic Abe

9 ( +9 / -0 )

My mom and pop izakaya opens at 6PM and closes at 4AM. I doubt much will change.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It's a good thing that the virus only attacks people at night and on weekends.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The Eight PM swill. See its historical equivalent here (the 6 o’clock swill):


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Binge drinking and scraps outside the pub at chucking out time. Just like the UK in my formative years, how quaint.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@marcelito Good you mentioned this. Seems most commenters think these are Koike's decisions. Not at all. This is Abe's bought and paid for decision making at its finest. She's trying to make due with his and his party's ineptitude.

I wonder how many brown envelopes were passed under the table by the various associations to get them to qualify as essential services.

The Japanese government is a farce and is only looking to save economically on any payouts. They couldn't care about the people. Maybe if the higher ups themselves were to catch covid they'd see clearer the dire reality of the situation.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

izakaya pubs in Tokyo will be requested to shut by 8 p.m, so does this virus only spread after 8pm? oh that's lucky for us all!.

Top tip: close ALL pubs, cafes, schools, collages, restaurants, pachinko places, out door events, parties in the parks, any social gathering more than two people, tourist places, sky tower, large shops ( unless its for food and medicine) civic places, town halls, offices, karaoke joints, the list goes on, close them 24/7 all non essential shops close, close now!

place that can stop open: conbini, kasura for medicines, food shops. shrines, but keep a 2 meter social distance between people, but not for tourists, only worship.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"The situation of (virus) infections in Tokyo is very urgent," said Koike, adding her administration had given "top priority to protecting the lives of Tokyo residents" in compiling the measures.

The top priority was the Olympics; we all know that.

For the sake of not repeating comments, here’s a different take. The Izakaya and drinking among co-workers is an extension of meetings where they hammer things out -nemawashi - before making it official; and so it is a necessary part of the work culture in Japan.

185 infected today Friday.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Rainyday, it's not the People's Front of Judea, it's the Judean People's Front.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

How does this help slow the spread of the virus?

While I'm not saying it's a great idea, shorter hours presumably means less overall contact between between people, so it should slow the spread to some extent. One hour in a crowded location is presumably better than two hours in the same location. Whether it makes a big enough difference is another matter.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not in Kanagawa.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I believe due to a few factors plus some luck the chance of Japan becoming another Italy, Spain is slim. However, that does not mean the Japanese government can simply do nothing and wait it out. Certain precautions or national containment measures should be implemented to curb the spread. However, this kind of half hearted policy definitely is not one of them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

what is the relationship between alcohol and the coronavirus?

can be open until 8pm, why cutting alcohol one hour prior? Hoping people will really leave at 7pm?

Plus once they are open, and its only requested they close, will they?

operators should stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Has anyone’s impression of the Japanese changed through these days? I had thought they were rule conscious and rule abiding but it’s more of a myth.

9 ( +9 / -0 )


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, it's all down to the stupid Abe administration. The following is from the Japan Times.

Beauty shops and barbers.

How stupid can you be...

Koike caused a stir in some quarters as the list included a wide range of sectors, including department stores, hardware stores, barbers and izakaya dining bars.

Koike had planned to issue the closure request immediately after the emergency declaration. But she had to move back the announcement because the central government interfered.

Barber shops, beauty salons and DIY stores are vital in maintaining daily lives,” economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said during a videoconference Wednesday with the governors of the affected areas.

The Tokyo government has become frustrated with the central government over its moves. Koike was stone-faced throughout the call with Nishimura.

At a news conference Wednesday, Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the major opposition Democratic Party for the People, said that he has been “appalled” by the lack of coordination between the central and Tokyo governments.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

but they have 46.4 billion yen to buy and send 2 masks to each house by the end of the month.

Dont most izakayas make more than 500,000 yen per day?

The metropolitan government is expected to provide 500,000 yen per outlet to those that comply with business suspension requests,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

With the very, very soft approach taken by the Japanese gov so far in its handling of this pandemic (ie. Non-mandatory quarantine policy, lack of urgency in implementing lockdown, inadequate testing, etc), it will not be surprising if Japan were to follow into the footstep of the EU and the US with thousands to end up dead, and what's more Japan is especially vulnerable due to its higher proportion of aged citizen.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

And what the heck is that supposed to achieve? Doesn´t she realize that by shortening business hours all she does is increased density during business hours, i.e. decrease social distance?

I knew that giving Koike more power to implement whatever "bright" idea she has was a mistake.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This has nothing to do with curbing the spread of Covid. It makes zero sense to do a limited, half arsed shutdown. New Zealand is showing how to do it right.

What does make sense is saying things and making gestures that will keep you from claims of negligence. It's nothing more than a show to protect thier own political behinds.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

So does the virus work on a timer, ok its 8pm time to go to work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wonder why the government couldn't decide fully on these situations. if they really want to contain the spread of the virus why not lockdown the city? totally lock down! as we all know this is pandemic, people losses their lives, jobs, companies sales goes down, the economy totally will wreaking down, we already know that, we are all affected by this pandemic, the virus is here already that's the reality right? the government must have to decide swift and quick with these! there is no need the hour restrictions for all the establishments to be open and closed. lame.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hello? McFly, anybody home? Just when I thought they couldn't come up with anything more ridiculous, they do! Only would a Japanese politician come up with such a stupid, stubborn idea. Close down the izakaya, pachinko parlors, etc, etc, completely. This isn't rocket science, they've had 2 months of watching what's going on in Italy, Spain, New York, etc to prepare and despite having the world's oldest population this is what they reluctantly came up with.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Most Japanese adults are aware of the potential danger with this virus. They watch TV and actually do understand what is going on in the world. In fact, most have been wearing masks, washing hands, and avoiding touching ( no hand shakes or hugs) for most of their lives. Just because some izakayas will be open (some will close voluntarily) it doesn't mean it will be business as usual. Most people will avoid those establishments.

Nobody knows where this is going. The model for Japan will be different than for the USA simply through lifestyle. And since Japan cannot lock-down cities legally, the best advice they can give is to push mask use. This study (and others) have been appearing more and more lately. The Ro rate of transmission may just be lower in Japan due to masks.

**From the Guardian April 4th (Jeremy Howard): **One huge challenge is that mask wearing only really pays off when most people do it. A Food and Drug Administration analysis of the flu estimates that if 50% of the population uses a mask, virus transmission is reduced by half. If 80% of the population uses a mask, the virus is “essentially eliminated”.

I hope they can balance this well and not crash their health infrastructure. It is too early to know.

Hokkaido is a very promising model. Dozens of cases in February from the Sapporo snow festival. Schools were shut down early as well as public buildings (libraries, gyms, pools.) BUT...all restaurants, clubs, and shops continued operations (limited hours in some cases.) Now everything is back to "normal." There have been some clusters but the curve really flattened out. Many adults are still extra cautious but there have been no additional restrictions. The death total is relatively low too.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Where is Koike getting her information she makes the COVID19 sound like "The Purge", restaurant operators should stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m., while allowing them to open from 5 a.m., adding the measures will take effect midnight Friday. Really? So it sleeps during the hours of 5am to 7pm and starts working looking for new customers to infect after 8pm if your out and about?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Schools and universities have to shutdown because they are not necessary! But bars, Izakayas, golf courses, and gyms MUST STAY OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1....nice to see where their priorities are

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I am meeting a friend at a local Izakaya at 8 this evening to support the mom and pop place.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

The virii only come out after 8 p.m.!

3 ( +4 / -1 )


"This calls for immediate.....discussion!"

wunnnderfulllll....... gave me a good old LOL.... (⌒▽⌒)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dont most izakayas make more than 500,000 yen per day?

Yeah, in fantasy land.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Cool! That’s because the virus is only active after 8pm.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I am meeting a friend at a local Izakaya at 8 this evening to support the mom and pop place.

This is essentially what most Japanese will do, but with larger groups of friends. With months of Japanese government and media insisting that there’s no spread in Japan, the majority of Japanese don’t really take the virus seriously at all. I would be surprised if there’s even a 20% reduction in nomikais.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I wish we had some men, 20 year olds and free thinking college educated people looking at the comments.

Would balance out the system.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Unbelievable. If you want a lockdown, then just lock it down completely. This is like leaving a gap at the door to let the zombies in. Come on, Japan!!! Wake up!!!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

お酒7時までWhat a joke suggestion.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I thought it was up to each prefecture the way they handled the SoE, but it looks like the government has the last word.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wish we had some men, 20 year olds and free thinking college educated people looking at the comment.

They are all out partying and spreading the virus. Free thinking? More like being irresponsible idiots.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

blahblah222Today 04:54 pm JST

With nomikai so ingrained in Japanese culture, you can bet people will keep having nomikais. Even people who are taking the disease seriously would have no choice but to accept their senpai or boss’s invitation, or they would be ostracized.

Ah, nomikais. They should have banned those things before the coronavirus. Nothing but a way for the superior to rob more of his subordinates lives to prop up his self-ego.

quercetumToday 05:31 pm JST

Has anyone’s impression of the Japanese changed through these days? I had thought they were rule conscious and rule abiding but it’s more of a myth.

Well, to be fair, based on the curve's growth rate, it does seem they are more "goody-goody" than say the Europeans. However, they aren't perfect, and they have other bad habits. When the two add up, it wasn't enough to avoid further restrictions.

miss_oikawaToday 05:35 pm JST

Well, at least we have a name to pin personal blame on. Though to be fair, not everyone can cut their own hair, and with uncertainty over how long this thing will last, not letting people cut hair for months on end is not completely feasible.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A lot of culturally insensitive comments in this thread. Don’t you people understand that this is Japan, which isn’t like the rest of the world?!

(Pure sarcasm, FYI.)

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Before all this madness, I used to stop by an izakaya for a few beers around 6:30 to 8 pm so this works for me timewise, however, I think I will just stay home until GW.

Not very reckless of you, Reckless.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yurakucho, Shimbashi areas were pretty quiet today. A lot of shops and restaurants already closed, few people in the streets

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My coworkers are all Japanese, they take the virus very seriously, and I am not joking.

They take it more seriously than me the foreigner

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Most of the companies do not allow employees to telework , public transport is as usual while government say current emergency measures will reduce the people engagement by 80%. LOL

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The fewer open hours would lessen the workers' exposure to customers and also allow more time for staff to more thoroughly clean and disinfect their workplace for the next opening. Workers too want to avoid getting infected

And the early closing time would make people to spend more time at home instead of being outside

And with more people staying home rather than going out, there's less necessity to keep the same amount of open hours

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

At least her mask fits properly, unlike that weird little thing Abe wears with the tiny patch of fabric and incredibly long ear loops.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Rainyday, it's not the People's Front of Judea, it's the Judean People's Front.

Lmao! Best post of the day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Her mask is ten times more beautiful than Abe's mask.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Japan Today poster ASKS the government to wake up if they don't want people to die.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tom, please don't come crying to us when you're struck down with the virus. No sympathy.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I guess the Virus is like Dexter. At 8pm it goes "tonight's the night"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The shutters are coming down and lights are going out all over Japan, especially in Tokyo and other big cities. This invisible virus will be harder to zap than Godzilla or zombies. Abe was blinded by Olympic gold and blindsided by this pandemic. We are going to be in this mess for the long haul until a vaccine is found.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thanks Koike. That will make all the difference. How is it they are so utterly clueless? 7:45 Iki Iki Iki... 8:00 Get on the train and spread it around Tokyo. Someone should force her to sit in a regular Izakaya and then ride the train - every night.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As usual with Japan, it's all form and no function.

"As long as it looks like we're doing something, it solves the problem."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The mass burials in New York should be a warning. Like a medieval plague pit.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here is what the ”CDC" is saying. Our results suggest that a combination of control measures, including early and active surveillance, quarantine, and especially strong social distancing efforts, are needed to slow down or stop the spread of the virus. If these measures are not implemented early and strongly, the virus has the potential to spread rapidly and infect a large fraction of the population, overwhelming healthcare systems.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This can't be real, can it? Are we watching a new comedy show on TV?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yet another half measure taken by the government. Actually, it’s not really a measure of any sort as they are only “requesting” shops to close. The bars and izakayas are free to do whatever they want, and I can’t see many of them taking responsibility and closing. And there will still be customers. Even if there are fewer than before, there will be enough to continue the spread.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Don't many of you people get it?

Her hands are somewhat tied by what Abe proclaims...he's the nonsensical t(insert 23rd letter of the alphabet here)at here!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is crazy,

Either admit you have no interest in stopping the spread and we move forward or close everything down.

Things are going to be no better in May. I had to lay off my 7 pt workers today and probably the 3 full timers next month.

This way is causing businesses to die by a thousand cuts.

2 ( +6 / -4 )


Thank you

my business employees people people with special needs

Simply put p/t adult special needs teachers help full time teachers teach special needs children after school.

It takes sometimes years for these children to speak so online really isn't possible.

I had one teacher cry uncontrollably for hours, another tell me he wants to kill himself , and another say she would wait outside everyday until we reopen.

I am tired and sader than i have ever been

2 ( +4 / -2 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

As someone in the U.S., who watches the failings of our current president during this outbreak, I can at least look to the J-Gov to make me feel a bit better about the clown in chief over here.

On the bright side... In the U.S., the president doesn't have the power to call for shutdowns. The state governors however do. We've already been under a shelter in place order for 3 weeks, thanks to our governor. You can get gas, groceries, prescriptions. Hardware/home improvement stores are open. Essential services such as electricians, plumbers etc. are still going to work. Most of the lowest wage and small business jobs are shut down. Restaurants can do carryout/curbside pickup, delivery. Dog groomers, salons, bars, casinos, theaters etc. are all closed. State parks and facilities are closed, but local conservation areas have their trails open, although some events at those facilities have been canceled or postponed. You can go for a walk, or jog, without getting arrested, but social distancing is the new "in" thing.

None of this is seen as a big deal for the most part. The community at large generally understands that this is what is necessary to slow down the transmission Covid19. Of course there are many downsides... Lost wages being the largest. The daily stress levels of some will pile up with worries about income and housing. However, our government is trying to work out plans, fixes, and stimulus packages to alleviate some of the strain.

The biggest concern is that our "soft lockdown" will be continuous. The White House is trying to pressure states to lockdown that have not yet done so, but in the end it's up to the governors. Had everyone shut down at the same time, then we could have possibly seen an end to this wild ride a bit sooner. As with anything, people have different opinions, but those differences may make life more difficult for those who went into lockdown earlier. Our neighboring states are the issue. Two have gone into lockdown following us, another jumped aboard even later. Yet another has locked down 2 cities only, and the last bordering state hasn't gone into lockdown at all.

So what remains to be seen is whether we come out of lockdown when "cleared" of the virus? Or are we stuck in a "Groundhog Day" loop, until all of our neighbors are finally cleared? Do draconian measures get put into place to allow us to come out of lockdown, but the national guard closes all traffic from the states that were dragging their feet?

The only thing that is certain at this point is uncertainty. The caveat is that we're trying to save lives and stop the spread. Poor Japan isn't even trying. I hope your lackluster efforts work, and that in the future Japanese and their politicians can crow about how effective they were, and how many lives were spared.

Our state stands at 528 confirmed deaths, hopefully we can keep it under a thousand.

Good luck Japan!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I am asthmatic big time..classic asthmatic. My wife is type 1 Diabetic. We both got through it. Your friend will too.

What do you base this on? You realize thousands of people are dying every day from this virus, right? Not everyone is going to be ok. I have family friends who lost a loved one. I could have told them 'your daughter will be ok', but there would have been no basis behind that, and I would have been wrong.

It's irresponsible to have this attitude that 'everyone will be ok'. Reality says otherwise.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Remember that the US government asked its citizens to leave Japan as soon as possible. To ask them to come back home to the country with the worst outbreak of covid, is indicative of what will happen in Japan. These half-measured closings will not work to suppress to growth of the pandemic. Be safe and protect yourselves, when you cannot rely on your own government to do so. Look at the results of Trump and his national government actions, versus the those of the local state governors.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

GWApr. 10 04:20 pm JST I don't know whether to laugh or cry!!!

Well, this idiocy happened exactly the same as in many other nations (Italy, Germany, Netherlands) It's part of the step by step 'plan' of governments. So in a couple of days they are not allowed to be open anymore, as will be hairdressers, pachinko halls etc. And from next week (or maybe a bit later) only grocerie and drug stores are allowed to be open.

Personal movement in public spaces will also be restricted within 1 or 2 weeks. No flogging anymore in parks, 2 meters distance, only entrance with mask etc. etc. etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

These J-politicians are woefully out of touch. I thought the propaganda line was always Japanese are about the group, not the individual. The government is proving that completely false.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She knows the coronavirus wakes up at 8pm to do it's dastardly act!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Instead of blasting Koike it should be Abe getting it as he is the one who is dragging his feet and not wanting to compensate businesses to close. I think most restaurants will close at 8pm so that they can get the limited support from the Tokyo government although as someone pointed out 500,000 would have been a Friday nights take so thats not really enough to save them. If the central government were to help/pressure landlords to suspend rent then I think you would see many more restaurants close down and until this happens restaurants will stay open. Its very easy for most of you to scream close down when you are still getting paid to work from home. Restaurants employ a lot of part timers who will get no financial support if they lose their jobs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I am tired and sader than i have ever been

and what if the virus infects your workers and someone dies from it, how sad will you feel then

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Restaurants employ a lot of part timers who will get no financial support if they lose their jobs.

theyll get no support of any kind if they get sick and die from this virus. Youll die youll die alone and you wont have anybody there beside you . people are just not taking this seriously enought

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There’s a reason Koike is urging shops to close early.

In Koike’s hometown of Ashiya between 7pm to 8pm most services shut.

2 ( +2 / -0 )


I thought it was up to each prefecture the way they handled the SoE, but it looks like the government has the last word.

Prefectural governments are still "the government".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Asks. Asks. Asks. Asks. Asks.

Hey Koike: If a state of emergency is REALLY an actual state of emergency, you don't ASK restaurants to close at 8pm. In actuality, you don't even have them open to begin with.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Personal movement in public spaces will also be restricted within 1 or 2 weeks. No flogging anymore in parks,"

Well, that's some good news then!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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