- Title: Tokyo governor requests some businesses to close as coronavirus cases rise
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (APRIL 10, 2020) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WALKING OUTSIDE OF NAKANO STATION CLOSED PACHINKO PARLOR NOTICE ANNOUNCING TEMPORARY CLOSURE ON PACHINKO PARLOUR / CLOSED SHUTTER PEOPLE WALKING IN FRONT OF CLOSED KARAOKE POSTER READING (Japanese): "NOTICE OF TEMPORARY CLOSURE / TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE NOVEL CORONAVIRUS, STORES IN THE AFFECTED AREA WHERE THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION WAS ISSUED WILL BE TEMPORARILY CLOSED DURING THE FOLLOWING PERIOD / FROM APRIL 8 TO MAY 6" (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 23-YEAR-OLD COMPANY EMPLOYEE, YUNA KODAIRA, SAYING: "Now the infection is spreading rapidly and we have seen high numbers for new infections today and yesterday. I think it's unavoidable and I actually quite agree with (the request to) close restaurants and service businesses to contain (the spread)." PEDESTRIANS WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 44-YEAR-OLD COMPANY EMPLOYEE, MEGUMI YUMOTO SAYING: "I agree (with the government's request for closures) because we have to stop the spread now. Otherwise the infection will spread and more people will die." ENTRANCE TO VOW'S BAR VOW'S BAR OWNER'S HANDS CHANGING SIGN AT ENTRANCE TO "OPEN" VOW'S BAR OWNER AND BUDDHIST MONK, GENKO, WORKING BEHIND COUNTER/EMPTY SEATS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) VOW'S BAR OWNER AND BUDDHIST MONK, GENKO, SAYING: "I really want to cooperate (by closing the bar) because we are also afraid of the coronavirus. I honestly want to close. But if I close, that means literally no profit at all, and the bills would come as usual. So this is no time to shut and I can't close the bar. There is no other option but to stay open even if there aren't many customers." GENKO BEHIND BAR (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) VOW'S BAR OWNER AND BUDDHIST MONK, GENKO, SAYING: "If I close, that means the end. It would be an act of suicide for us. So we have to choose to either die because of coronavirus or commit suicide after bankruptcy." LIQUOR BOTTLES ON SHELF GENKO CHATTING BEHIND BAR
- Keywords: Japan Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike new coronavirus shutdown
- Reuters ID: LVA003C8WPGLJ
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Duration: 00:02:38
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Friday (April 10) asked some businesses to close as Japan battles a fast-spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus, amid fears the government's measures are too little and too late.
Koike said she was targeting a range of businesses for shutdowns from Saturday (April 11) during a month-long emergency that will last till May 6. Koike had wanted to move sooner but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has resisted measures likely to put greater pressure on an economy which is already tipped to fall into recession and fuelling concerns that the central government is putting business ahead of people's lives.
Businesses including bars, pachinko parlours and internet cafes are being asked to close and restaurants to shorten their hours. Department stores, home-furnishing centres and barber shops will be exempted, in a concession to the central government.
Tokyo residents said they supported the Tokyo government's request for closures
But business owners had mixed feelings about closing down. The owner of a small Buddhist-themed bar, Genko, said his business was already severely affected by the outbreak.
"I really want to cooperate (by closing the bar) because we are also afraid of the coronavirus. I honestly want to close. But if I close, that means literally no profit at all, and the bills would come as usualâ€¦There is no other option but to stay open even if there aren't many customers," said Genko.
Although Koike also said that businesses that met her requests to close would receive between 500,000 yen ($4,595) and 1 million yen ($9,224) by the metropolitan government, Genko said his bar would continue to operate since it's unclear when he can receive the money.
The number of cases in Japan rose to 5,548 on Thursday (April 9), with 108 deaths, according to health authorities. Tokyo accounted for 1,519 cases, heightening concerns about sluggish action.
(Production: Yasuteru Ueda, Yu Takito, Akira Tomoshige, Hideto Sakai)
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