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Niigata gov. ‘demands’ pachinko parlors shut

Two pachinko parlors in Joetstu City are still operating despite the state of emergency (Twitter)

NIIGATA (TR) – The Niigata Prefectural Government has issued demands to two pachinko parlors still operating despite the ongoing state of emergency to shut their doors, reports Nippon News Network (May 2).

On Saturday, the government issued “closure demands” to the two parlors in Joetsu City. That morning, a line of customers formed outside 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.

A line formed outside a pachinko parlor in Kobe City before it opened on Saturday (Twitter)

Shame them into closing

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 Niigata government released the names of five parlors in the prefecture that were still operating. Three of them subsequently shut their doors.

A similar scenario has unfolded in Hyogo Prefecture, where one parlor in Kobe City is still operating. Earlier this week, the Hyogo government released the names of seven parlors in the prefecture that were still operating.

Prior to the lone parlor’s opening on Saturday morning, a line formed outside, reports Mainichi Broadcasting System. One person in line said, “[I came from] Osaka. I gave up [on the parlors there]. I only came here because [the parlor] is open.”