Retailers Brace for Tokyo’s Fourth State of Emergency

Retailers Brace for Tokyo’s Fourth State of Emergency

An aerial view of Shibuya, Tokyo. Kazuo ota.

The Japanese government has imposed another round of restrictions on its capital, which will last from July 12 to August 22 and include the duration of the Tokyo Olympics, The Japan Times reports.

The measures aim to curb the spread of Covid-19 during the Summer Games and summer vacation; the former, which will begin July 23, will largely be held without spectators. In Tokyo, major commercial sites like department stores will also be asked to close by 8pm and attendance at large-scale events will be capped at 5,000 people, or 50 percent of the site’s capacity.

Besides Tokyo, state of emergency orders in prefectures including Okinawa, as well as quasi-emergency orders in Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures, were extended to August 22.

The news is discouraging for retailers across the country, many of whom are still recovering from the third state of emergency declared in April and were looking to offset losses during the summer. While retail sales increased 8.2 percent in May from a year earlier in the country’s third consecutive month of growth, underlying trends indicated recovery would take time.

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