Japan's nightlife district to ban public drinking at night

By Phan Anh, Huyen Le   June 7, 2024 | 04:58 pm PT
Japan's nightlife district to ban public drinking at night
A corner of Shibuya in Tojyo, Japan in February 2024. Photo by AFP
Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is expected to ban drinking alcohol in public at night, an extension of restrictions that were put in place for Halloween and New Year's Eve starting in 2019.

Shibuya authorities -- from the eponymous word known for overnight partying -- proposed the ban to last year-round, from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day, the Japan Today reported.

If the policy is enacted, it would be slated to take effect starting Oct. 1.

Police officers will patrol parks and streets to issue warnings to people who violate the ban. Official legal penalties and fines for such violations do not yet exist in Japan.

Local authorities said a public drinking ban is needed in Shibuya, a popular nightlife district, as crowds of partiers are so large that they impact public safety and business, Asahi Shimbun reported.

Shibuya authorities said the daily number of public drinking cases increases by around 1.5 times on weekends and holidays, with 70% involving foreigners.

Japan has been battling an influx of tourists that has overwhelmed its tourism capacity ever since its Covid-19 reopening. Over 3 million tourists have visited the country in April and May, statistics revealed.

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