1st Biz Suspension Orders Issued in Japan over Coronavirus

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Kobe/Yokohama, May 1 (Jiji Press)--Business suspension orders were issued in Japan on Friday for pachinko pinball parlors remaining open despite closure requests and the public release of their names in efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in the first such actions against any type of business.

The Hyogo prefectural government issued its orders to three pachinko parlors in Kobe, the capital of the western prefecture, while the eastern prefecture of Kanagawa made its order to a parlor in the prefectural capital of Yokohama.

The orders were issued based on the third paragraph of Article 45 of the revised special measures law to combat new strains of influenza, which now covers the novel coronavirus as well. The orders amount to an administrative action with stronger force than business suspension requests under the second paragraph of the same article of the amended legislation. No penalties are set for violators, however.

"We asked (the three pachinko parlors) yesterday to cooperate with our business suspension requests, and we ordered them to shut based on the law today after confirming that they remained open this morning," Hyogo Governor Toshizo Ido said at a meeting of the Hyogo government's coronavirus response headquarters on Friday.

Between Monday and Tuesday, the Hyogo government, based on the second paragraph of Article 45, asked seven pachinko parlors in the prefecture to close after they refused to accept its earlier suspension requests made under a different article of the law, and published their names. Three of the seven are in Kobe, three in the city of Toyooka and two in the town of Sayo.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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