posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
TOHO CINEMAS revealed on Monday that it will reopen its theaters in Tokyo and Osaka on Tuesday. The theaters will reduce seating, finish screenings by 9:00 p.m., and will not serve alcohol. In Osaka, the theaters will not operate on weekends.
TOHO CINEMAS and other major cinema chains such as Aeon, Shochiku Multiplex Theaters (SMT), 109 Cinemas, United Cinemas, T-Joy, and Cinema Sunshine closed their theaters four prefectures in late April when Japanese government declared a state of emergency in those prefectures.
Additionally, Universal Studios Japan revealed on Friday that it will reopen on June 1, but will only be open on weekdays. The theme park temporarily closed starting on April 25.
The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren) asked last week for the reopening of cinemas in Japan, saying that the government has not provided definitive evidence that theaters were serving as infection clusters. The Eiren — alongside film production companies such as TOHO, Shochiku, and Toei —called for cinemas to reopen on June 1.
The Japanese government declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo prefectures on April 23. This latest state of emergency was originally slated to lift on May 11. The state of emergency was intended to curb the amount of travel during the country’s Golden Week holidays in early May. The Japanese government then extended the state of emergency to May 31, and added Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures starting on May 12. The government then added Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima on May 16. The government then extended the state of emergency again in the nine prefectures until June 20.
Okinawa had already announced that its state of emergency, newly declared on May 23, will last until June 20. The current state of emergency covers over 40% of Japan’s population.