CHIBA (TR) – The Chiba Prefectural Government have issued demands to two pachinko parlors still operating despite the ongoing state of emergency to shut their doors, reports TV Asahi (May 3).
On Sunday, the government issued “closure demands” to the two parlors in Matsudo and Noda cities. The day before, a line of customers formed in front of at least one of the parlors before it opened.
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 novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, they were made subject to the recently revised New Influenza Special Measures Act.
“This is the maximum that the prefecture can do”
Under Article 45 of that law, the names of dissenting businesses can be made public. The tactic aims to shame them into closing.
Earlier this week, the Chiba government released the names of three parlors in the prefecture that were still operating. One of them subsequently shut its doors.
A similar scenario has unfolded in Niigata Prefecture, where two parlors in Joetsu City were still operating on Saturday. Hyogo and Kanagawa prefectures have also experienced difficulties in getting parlors to shut.
Chiba Prefectural Governor Kensaku Morita, “This is the maximum that the prefecture can do. I have no choice but to be patient.”