Tokyo, March 18 (Jiji Press)–The Tokyo metropolitan government Thursday ordered 27 eating and drinking establishments to shorten their operating hours, becoming the first in Japan to issue orders under a recently revised law.
The orders are based on the revised special measures law to combat novel coronavirus and other epidemics.
The revision, implemented in February, enables the country’s prefectural governors to issue orders against businesses not complying with requests for coronavirus infection prevention measures, such as operating hour cuts, without legitimate reasons.
Those who do not abide by the orders will be slapped with fines of up to 300,000 yen.
When the central government declared a coronavirus state of emergency in January, Tokyo asked eating and drinking establishments and karaoke parlors to cooperate with its requests to close by 8 p.m., under Article 24 of the special law.
After the amendment was enacted, the metropolitan government switched to requesting shorter hours under Article 45 of the law, which allows such requests to be upgraded to orders under states of emergency.