Japanese restaurant chain adapts operations

Operators of restaurants and bars in the Tokyo area are trying to find ways to stay afloat amid an early closure request from the Japanese government.

One restaurant group called Watami is shutting some locations or shortening business hours during the state of emergency period designed to stem the spread of coronavirus. About 140 of its establishments are affected.

The company is changing the way it does business. It is launching weekday lunch service at eight barbecue restaurants from next week.

Watami CEO Watanabe Miki says his company will abide by the government's 8 p.m. closure request that came into effect on Friday. At the same time, he is concerned that Japan's food service industry will be devastated if the situation continues.

He says Watami is also looking at other ways to meet the challenges ahead.