Tokyo state of emergency closes bars, restaurants

Tokyo’s bars and restaurants face a new shutdown.

Friday (January 8) saw a day of preparations for closure.

A second state of emergency declaration requires all eateries to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m., and to close by 8 p.m.

The rule also covers the neighbouring prefectures of Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba.

All told, that accounts for about 30% of the country’s population.

The restrictions are due to run until February 7.

Now some traditional izakaya pubs face a dilemma.

Since most customers come after 7 p.m., there’s no point being open for dinner at all says this bar manager.

Many establishments were already struggling, as more people work from home and fewer go out to socialise.

For some, closing altogether may be the most economical course of action for the next month.