Businesses’ hopes shattered with 4th virus emergency for Tokyo

Jul 09 , 2021. 11 hours ago – 23:01 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – Restaurant and tour operators in Tokyo hoping for a pickup in business over the summer were left reeling Thursday after the Japanese government decided to declare a fourth coronavirus state of emergency in the capital.

With the declaration, effective from Monday to Aug. 22, coming just two weeks before the Summer Olympics open, some also expressed frustration over perceived double standards, as dining establishments will be requested to stop serving alcohol while sports competitions will be held late into the night.

“It never ends, I’m at my wits’ end,” said Kenichi Ushijima, the 58-year-old owner of a Japanese-style “izakaya” pub in Tokyo’s Shimbashi district who said he has been diligently following anti-infection rules set by the metropolitan government.

Customers had slowly started to return after the previous state of emergency was lifted on June 20, Ushijima said, but with another emergency starting next week, it will all be for naught.