KANAGAWA (TR) – At least one of the 6 pachinko parlors in the prefecture that were asked to close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is still operating, reports TV Asahi (Apr. 29).
On Tuesday, Kanagawa Prefectural Governor Yuji Kuroiwa revealed the names of the six parlors that had defied the request in an effort to shame them into shutting their doors.
However, the network found that one of the parlors, located in Yokohama City’s Hodogaya Ward, to be still operating.
“The number [of customers] coming today is 10 times the average,” a local resident told the network.
According to the prefectural government, three other parlors — located in Yokohama’s Konan Ward, Kawasaki City — have indeed closed. The government is now confirming the status of the remaining parlors.
State of emergency
Pachinko parlors were among the businesses asked to close under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s declaration of a state of emergency on April 7. The declaration covered Tokyo, Kanagawa and five other prefectures. It was later expanded to include all prefectures.
Despite this, many parlors declined to comply. However, since the crowded parlors pose a high risk for infection of the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, they were made subject to the recently revised New Influenza Special Measures Act.
Under Article 45 of that law, the names of dissenting businesses can be made public. The first to apply the shaming tactic was Osaka Prefectural Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi, who last week revealed the names of six parlors still in operation in the prefecture despite a request asking that they shut from April 14.
In Hyogo Prefecture, the government on Monday announced the names of six parlors still operating in Kobe and Toyooka cities and the town of Sayo. As of Tuesday morning, all six were still operating.
“Zero” in operation
Earlier this month, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike followed the state of emergency order by further asking that pachinko parlors close until at least May 6.
Over this weekend, survey teams sent by the government examined 156 parlors in the capital that had been reported as still operating by residents. As of noon on Sunday, a total of 22 parlors were found to still be in operation.
Though Koike announced that “zero” were operating as of Tuesday, that proved to not be the case. Television networks, including TBS News (Apr. 28) found four that were indeed open for business on Tuesday. One was expected to shut on Wednesday.
The Tokyo government had planned to reveal the names of non-complying parlors after Tuesday. However, it now says that it will wait until after Wednesday, according to Kyodo News (Apr. 28).