Tokyo asks restaurants to continue shortened hours until mid-September
Japan Times -- Aug 28
A voluntary request to have food establishments in the capital’s central 23 wards operate under reduced business hours will be extended into next month, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike announced Thursday.

Restaurants and eateries in Tokyo, including those that serve alcohol, had been asked to close at 10 p.m. to reduce the risk of further coronavirus infections from Aug. 3. Those located within the capital’s 23 wards have been asked to continue limiting business hours until Sept. 15. Those that comply will receive a cash handout of ¥150,000.

Food establishments located outside of the 23 wards will be exempted from the request from Monday.

“At this stage, it’s too early to lift restrictive measures,” Koike said during a meeting of the metropolitan government’s coronavirus task force Thursday. “The number of new cases is declining but the rate of decline, and the increasing number of severe cases, is concerning.”

Tokyo officials said new cases are declining in the capital but untraceable infections are still concerning, and sustained caution is necessary to maintain that trend and protect the city’s health care system.

Tokyo reported 250 additional cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the capital’s total past 20,000 infections.

But the second wave of COVID-19 appears to be winding down.

東京都の27日の新型コロナウイルス新規感染者は250人となり、都内で感染が確認された人は2万人を超えました。こうしたなか、小池百合子知事は新たな対策として、今月末までとしていた飲食店などへの時短営業の要請を23区に限って延長すると発表しました。 東京都・小池百合子知事:「今の段階で緩めることなく、引き続き23区内におきましては、酒を提供する店、カラオケ店に、引き続き夜10時までの営業時間短縮を要請します。要請期間は9月1日から15日までとして、1事業者あたり一律15万円の協力金を支給します。なにとぞ、ご理解、ご協力のほどをお願い申し上げます」 都内でも23区とそれ以外で、明暗が分かれる形となり、現場からは戸惑いの声も上がっています。 武蔵野市の吉祥寺駅前にある、通称“ハモニカ横丁”の居酒屋『万両』は対象外となりました。 居酒屋『万両』:「いや、それはうれしいです。じゃないと、うちは午後10時から混むので、(閉店が)午後10時になっちゃうと(売上が)半分くらいになっちゃう」「(Q.すぐ一駅いくと23区に入るが?)そうですね。だから助かりましたよね、武蔵野市なので」 吉祥寺から1駅の西荻窪駅前の飲食店街は、23区内なので来月も時短要請が続きます。場所柄、渋谷や新宿で飲んだ人が2軒目3軒目に利用することが多く、時短営業は大打撃です。 『西荻えるえふるんぐ』會田洋平オーナー:「基本的に西荻とかは午後10時以降にお客さんがいっぱい入るので(売り上げは)当然、半分以下にはなっちゃいます。そういうふうに東京都が要請してきているのが、感染を抑える何かのきっかけになっているんだろうと信じるしかないですね。どこかで区切るしかないんだろうと思うんですけど、結局、吉祥寺に行ったら意味ないだろうなという。よくわからないけど従ってみるしかない」 西荻の常連客:「その1駅で何が変わるんだろうと疑問に思います」「別に23区内と区外で何か違いがあるわけでもないのに、そこで区切られるのは、ちょっとどうかなと思います」 小池知事は『GoToトラベル』の対象に、東京発着を追加するかどうか、来月に判断することとの関連について「基本的には東京都としての判断です。国のキャンペーンがどうされるのかは、国が判断される」と話しました。また、都独自の健康促進アプリを導入する考えも明らかにしました。厚生労働省が運用を始めた、感染者情報を一元的に管理するシステム『HER-SYS』でも、自宅療養者はスマートフォンで健康状態を入力できますが、打ち込まれた情報を一覧で見ることができないなど、保健所の担当者から使いづらいとの声があり、新たに独自のシステムを導入するということです。 東京都・小池百合子知事:「業務が過大、負担が大きくなっている保健所の負担軽減にもつながる。

News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
Sep 19
The key inflation gauge went negative again last month, driven down by government discounts meant to boost consumer spending and help the pandemic-hit travel industry. (Japan Times)
Sep 19
The former chairman of Japan Life Co, a now-bankrupt company, was arrested Friday along with 13 others on suspicion of running a "rental owner" investment scam involving clothing, jewelry and other goods it claimed had health benefits, police said. (Japan Today)
Sep 18
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga hit the ground running on day one, meeting with ministers in charge of top policy goals from cutting red tape and digitizing the government to combating the new coronavirus. (Nikkei)
Sep 18
Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have decided to keep their current monetary-easing policy unchanged. (NHK)
Sep 18
Developers have released the details of a major construction project that's underway in central Tokyo. (NHK)
Sep 17
Two of Japan's largest rail operators now expect to report their largest full-year net losses since their 1987 privatization, as the coronavirus pandemic brings a deep and potentially long-lasting slump in passenger traffic. (Nikkei)
Sep 16
Fraudulent e-money withdrawals in Japan have expanded to five other service operators in addition to NTT Docomo Inc, internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Sep 16
A former aide to Carlos Ghosn has fronted a Japanese court over allegations of financial misconduct related to the under-reporting of pay promised to the ex-Nissan chief. (FRANCE 24 English)
Sep 16
Gambling and casinos in Japan have not been legal for all that long. When looking at the history of casinos, it is easy to say that the future should be brighter than the past. (newsonjapan.com)
Sep 11
Amazon.com Inc's Japan unit has pledged to return around 2 billion yen ($18.8 million) to around 1,400 suppliers after having them shoulder part of the costs to cover discounts the online retailer applied on goods, the antitrust watchdog said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Sep 10
Workers in Japan may be looking beyond the pandemic. A government survey says their view of business conditions has improved, for the fourth month in a row. One index fell and that was for restaurants. (NHK)
Sep 08
A key gauge of business conditions in Japan rose slightly in July, but the uptick was not enough to change the assessment of the economy as "worsening". (NHK)
Sep 07
Massive job cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic are concentrated on sectors that tend to employ many women, a trend that highlights a lopsided economic impact both at home and abroad. (Nikkei)
Sep 05
A powerful typhoon threatening record-breaking wind and rain for Japan has put companies and transportation networks on high alert, with some moving to cut operations starting this weekend. (Nikkei)
Sep 05
Amazon.com Inc.’s Japan unit has submitted to the country’s antitrust watchdog a set of proposed reforms including returning money to its suppliers after having them shoulder part of the costs to cover discounts the online retailer applied on goods, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Sep 04
Japan is making a bid to become Asia's premier financial hub as some institutions exit Hong Kong over political and legal concerns. (NHK)
Sep 01
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has bucked the trend of socially responsible investing by acquiring 5%-plus stakes in five Japanese trading houses deeply involved in fossil-fuel-linked businesses. (Nikkei)
Aug 28
A voluntary request to have food establishments in the capital’s central 23 wards operate under reduced business hours will be extended into next month, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike announced Thursday. (Japan Times)
Aug 27
Reader, heal thyself! In many a bookstore in Japan these days, that appears to be the message from publishers to consumers looking for summertime page-turners or browsers in search of popular titles about golf, computers and business-and-finance trends. (Nikkei)
Aug 27
The ratio of women who hold senior positions at companies in Japan has inched up, but remains far below the government's target. (NHK)