Japan – Pachinko parlours in Tokyo, have today closed their doors following a barrage of criticism from government ministers and the general public for ‘ignoring’ advice of the Japan government to comply with official requests for temporary premises closures.
The local government in Tokyo was preparing to ‘name and shame’ the Pachinko organisations that were failing to comply with preventative measures in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pachinko is a type of mechanical game originating in Japan and is used as both a form of recreational arcade game and as a gambling device, comparable to that of the slot machine.
Pachinko parlours are widespread in Japan and usually also feature a number of slot machines, which is why these venues operate and look similar to casinos.
The news comes after the Tokyo government confirmed that the number of Covid-19 infections was falling and had fallen below fifty for the second day in a row. This is down considerably from the previously reported high of 201 during the middle of April 2020.
In addition, the news also follows a statement from the head of the medical association in Japan suggesting that the Tokyo Olympics may be delayed following the re-scheduling to next year.
The president of the Japan Medical Association Yoshitake Yokokura stated:
“Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year. I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan … it’s a worldwide issue.
We have indeed seen a decrease in new cases including here in Tokyo. I would like to think this is a genuine decrease, but we are still facing a situation in Japan in which the number of tests is insufficient. So I think we need to wait a week or so to see how things develop.”