Hiroshima governor announces businesses to close in state of emergency

Following the widening of the state of emergency across the whole of Japan, and having seem its number of coronavirus cases double in 5 days, Hiroshima Prefecture has released a list of business that it strongly urges to close until at least May 6.

The prefecture has given the businesses until April 22 to prepare for closure and hopes that these closures will help in reducing the amount of contact between people to below 80% of normal levels.

The main sections of long, detailed list are

  • Karaoke boxes, live music venues and nightclubs
  • Universities, cram schools and private schools
  • Bowling alleys, pachinko parlors and other sports and gaming facilities
  • Cinemas and theaters.
  • Museums, art galleries and exhibition spaces.
  • Any commercial facilities larger than 1000m squared.
  • Most shops and beauty salons (other than hairdressers).

Notable exceptions are shrines, temples and churches, marinas and outdoor sports facilities such as golf courses, tennis courts etc, and, somewhat bizarrely perhaps, 2nd hand bookstores and DVD and video rental shops. Home visits by private teachers are also permitted.

The full list can be send here [Japanese PDF].

As well as public transport, food stores and places selling daily necessities are allowed to stay open, including DIY centers. As well as hospitals, dentists and other medical facilities, hotels and ryokan also do not have to close. Hairdressers, stationary stores, shoe shops and tobacconists are included in the list of essential commercial services.

Hiroshima governor Yuzaki Hideaki stated at a press conference that the prefecture is working on its own financial support measures for businesses affected by closure. He aims to announce these measures by the end of the month so they can pay employees using software as paystub online.

One reporter asked the governor, how would the governor answer those who complain that imposing the same restrictions on Hiroshima as the other prefectures facing far more coronavirus cases doesn’t make sense?

He responded that such such thinking is extremely risky and that, taking into account the rapid increase in cases in the past week and the fact that many infections routes are unknown, there is more than an outside possibility that Hiroshima will find itself in a similar or worse situation if strong measures are not taken now.