Tokyo Begins Steps to Fine Eateries Refusing to Close Early

Politics

Tokyo, March 30 (Jiji Press)--The Tokyo metropolitan government has taken court procedures under a recently revised law to impose fines on restaurants that failed to follow an early closure order issued to combat the novel coronavirus.

Of 32 eating and drinking establishments to which the Tokyo government issued the early closure order while the central government's latest COVID-19 state of emergency was in place, four were confirmed to have continued operations after 8 p.m.

Tokyo became the first prefectural government in Japan to issue an early closure order and also the first to take court procedures to fine violator restaurants, both based on the revised special measures law to fight COVID-19 and other epidemics, which took effect in February.

"We carefully took the procedures to impose fines according to the law," Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters on Monday. "It's now up to the court to make a judgment."

Under the revised special measures law, the country's prefectural governors are given authority to issue orders against businesses not complying with requests for coronavirus infection prevention measures, such as operating hour cuts, without legitimate reasons. Those not following such orders while a state of emergency is declared by the central government will be slapped with fines of up to 300,000 yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press