Businesses reopen in parts of Japan
NHK -- May 17
Businesses began reopening across parts of Japan on Saturday, as dozens of prefectures entered their first weekend since being released from a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic.

The government announced on Thursday that it was lifting the measure in 39 of the nation's 47 prefectures.

In the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi, department store Sendai Mitsukoshi reopened on Saturday after closing all sections apart from its food floor for about a month.

Employees are wearing masks throughout the store, which has special cameras installed at the entrance to monitor body temperatures. Disinfectant is also freely available to customers.

A woman in her 70s said she's relieved that her favorite shop is open again.

In Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, major shopping complex Aeon Mall Takasaki has also reopened its doors. The store is limiting the number of shoppers who can be inside at any time, and plans to close about two hours earlier than usual.

The western prefecture of Osaka is still subject to the state of emergency, but the prefectural government is no longer asking some businesses to remain closed.

Tenjinbashisuji Shopping Street in Kita Ward is drawing more people than it has on recent weekends.

The owner of a restaurant in the area said he's grateful that he can now open until 10 p.m. He said he'll comply with physical distancing rules by setting tables sufficiently far apart.

News source: NHK
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