Not all pachinko parlors in Tokyo shut; 600 still being investigated
Japan Times -- Apr 29
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has clarified Gov. Yuriko Koike's statement that all pachinko parlors in Tokyo have complied with requests to suspend business as of Tuesday morning, after at least four were found to still be operating in the afternoon.

"Of the 156 parlors we visited, zero of them are still open," a government official said, adding they are still investigating the roughly 600 other pachinko parlors in the capital.

Koike, who had initially planned to release the names of pachinko parlors refusing to comply after Tuesday, told reporters earlier in the day that there were currently "zero" pachinko parlors in Tokyo still open.

As of Sunday, 156 still remained open, but the number dropped to 22 on Monday, with all agreeing to comply on Tuesday, after 60 metropolitan government officials in 15 teams directly visited noncompliant businesses and requested they close, she said.

But after media investigations revealed some parlors were still open as of Tuesday afternoon, the metropolitan government amended its statement.

The city will deliver a written closure request to those businesses and is expected to publicize the names of those who are noncompliant after Wednesday.

Several officials have already called on and delivered a written closure request to a pachinko parlor in Katsushika Ward found to be operating on Tuesday afternoon. The officials also informed the business that it would be named should it refuse to comply.

Under the nationwide state of emergency, effective through the last day of the Golden Week holidays on May 6, prefectural governments do not have the legal power to force compliance with requests for nonessential businesses to close, but they are allowed to publicly name noncompliant companies in an effort to shame them for not being socially responsible during the crisis.

東京都は休業要請に応じないパチンコ店はゼロになったと公表しましたが、実際は営業を続ける店がありました。  28日昼ごろ、小池都知事はこう述べていました。  東京都・小池百合子知事:「60人チームがですね、都内を確認してきた。お知らせや説得などによってかなり減りまして、きょうの時点でゼロということで・・・ご協力ありがとうございます」  しかし、東京都の休業要請に応じない店が実際にはまだあったのです。葛飾区のパチンコ店では午前9時半ごろから抽選待ちで約30人が並んでいました。取材中、東京都の職員が自粛要請に現れました。  東京都の職員:「(通知文を)受け取って頂いて『対応は本社に伝えておきます』と話して頂いた」「(Q.店内の様子は?)やはり、これだけいらっしゃるのは感染の対策から望ましくない」  一部が休業要請に応じず、逆に人が集まっているとして問題視されているパチンコ店。  一方、27日まで都内で営業を続けていたオーナーは・・・。  きのうまで営業をしていたパチンコ店のオーナー:「だから“密”ではないんですよ。うちは。皆さん機械に向かっているんですから。3時間おきにウェットティッシュの配布、そして、マスクをお持ちにならない方に対してマスクの配布。これを行っています」  さらに、休業できない理由として挙げるのが休業中、経営に重くのしかかる多額の経費だと主張。  きのうまで営業をしていたパチンコ店のオーナー:「パチンコ台(のリース代)が毎月250万円くらいかかっています。電気代が50万円、そして、人件費が350万円、景品の仕入れですとか毎月1000万円ないと回らない」  このオーナーのもとにも27日に東京都の職員が店名公表に関する事前通知を持ってきたといいます。しかし、都が提示する休業の協力金50万円などの補償では経費を賄えないとも話しています。都内では店名の公表を行うとした28日から駆け込みで店を閉めたパチンコ店も多くありました。  パチンコ店に来た人:「初めはネットで営業しているのを見て来た。(待っていたら)後から店長さんが来て急に貼り紙だして『営業中止です』って」  こうした取り組みでどこまで感染拡大を防げるのでしょうか。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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