Japan Coronavirus "Vigilantes" Keep Quiet under Emergency

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--Coronavirus vigilantes, who became known in Japan last year for harassing those who refused to comply with central and local government requests to stay at home or suspend business operations, have kept a surprisingly low profile during the current state of emergency.

The vigilantes, called in Japanese "jishuku keisatsu" (self-restraint police officers), increased around the time of the first state of emergency last spring, which covered the whole of the country, and the coined term became a major buzzword in 2020.

The self-appointed vigilantes posted notes on stores demanding that they close, even on stores that had already suspended operations, and vandalized vehicles with license plates from outside of the prefecture.

A man was arrested on suspicion of property destruction after he kicked and broke the door of a gym that remained open.

However, such coronavirus vigilantism has not been observed widely during the current state of emergency, in place in 11 of Japan's 47 prefectures, including Tokyo.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press