23 Japan Health Ministry Workers Drink until Late Night at Pub

Politics Society

Tokyo, March 29 (Jiji Press)--Twenty-three Japanese Health Ministry employees held a drinking party at an "izakaya" pub in Tokyo's posh Ginza district Wednesday, three days after the government's state of emergency over the novel coronavirus ended in the Japanese capital, it was learned Monday.

While the Tokyo metropolitan government is asking eating and drinking establishments in the capital to end daily operations at 9 p.m. or earlier, the 23 employees at the ministry's Health and Welfare Bureau for the Elderly stayed at the pub until late in the night, sources familiar with the matter said.

The ministry will consider punishing them, according to the sources.

Health minister Norihisa Tamura will give an explanation about the drinking party at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Japanese government is calling on the public to refrain from holding dining sessions among five or more participants, noting that parties involving drinking, and dining and drinking events in large groups and for long hours increase the risk of infection with the novel coronavirus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press