HYOGO (TR) – Two prefectures have issued demands to a total of four pachinko parlors still operating despite the ongoing state of emergency to shut their doors, reports Fuji News Network (May 2).
On Friday, the Hyogo and Kanagawa prefectural governments issued “closure demands” to three parlors in Kobe City, Hyogo and one more in Yokohama City’s Hodogaya Ward in Kanagawa.
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.
“It is not too late”
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 Hyogo government released the names of seven parlors in the prefecture that were still operating. However, the government was unable to confirm that the three parlors in Kobe had shut by Friday morning, which led to the issuing of the closure demands.
A similar scenario unfolded in Kanagawa this week. The prefectural government on Tuesday named six parlors that refused to close. By Friday, there remained the one outlier in Yokohama.
Kanagawa Prefectural Governor Yuji Kuroiwa said, “It’s unfortunate that this happened. In order to protect the lives of citizens of the prefecture, I strongly hope that [the parlor] will close from now on as it is not too late.”