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A closure request on smaller venues and nightclubs in Tokyo has now been lifted, as venues elsewhere in Japan are permitted to host events of up to 1,000 people
By IQ on 22 Jun 2020
Music venues in the Japanese capital of Tokyo have now been given the go-ahead to reopen, despite the city being subject to more stringent restrictions than elsewhere in Japan.
The government in Tokyo withdrew its temporary closure request on smaller live music venues, nightclubs and similar entertainment establishments, as well as lifting all other restrictions on businesses, on Friday (19 June), as the city embarks on the final stage of its reopening plan.
Small venues in Tokyo, which have been deemed high-risk spaces throughout the coronavirus crisis, had been placed under stricter restrictions than those in other parts of Japan, where indoor concerts of up to 100 and outdoor shows of up to 200 people have been allowed to take place since the start of June.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has attributed recent spikes in reported coronavirus cases – the city recorded 48 new infections in a single day last week, its highest daily infection rate since the start of May – to heightened efforts to track infections and better cooperation from the nightlife industry in testing.
The government is asking those working at entertainment establishments in the city to regularly undertake coronavirus tests; retain customer contact information for a month; and maintain a two-metre distance from others.
Music venues in the Japanese capital of Tokyo have now been given the go-ahead to reopen, despite the city being subject to more stringent restrictions than elsewhere in Japan
The capacity limit on events elsewhere in Japan has now increased to 1,000, with indoor venues operating at no more than 50% capacity and outdoor events obliged to ensure sufficient distancing is maintained between guests, staff and performers.
If all goes to plan, the government will increase capacities to 5,000 from 10 July and scrap maximum capacity limits altogether from 1 August, although maintaining the need to implement distancing measures.
It is estimated that around 150,000 concerts had been cancelled in Japan by the time of lifting the state of emergency at the end of May, with a loss of 330 billion yen (€2.7 bn) to the industry.
In order to alleviate pressures on event organisers and others in the business, the All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters’ Conference (ACPC), Japanese Federation of Music Producers (FMPJ) and Japan Music Business Association (JAME) recently launched a subsidy programme for the entertainment industry, J-LOD Live, to support the costs of the production and international digital distribution of live event footage.
The trio has also launched the Music Cross Aid fund to support those working in the Japanese live entertainment industry.
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