Tokyo seeks COVID-related fine for 4 restaurants

The Tokyo Metropolitan government has asked a court to fine four restaurants in the capital for violating its order to close early under the coronavirus state of emergency.

The Tokyo government submitted a notice to a court on Monday asking the four establishments be fined up to 300,000 yen, or around 2,700 dollars.

The Metropolitan government requested restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m. during the state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area that was lifted on March 21.

On March 18 and 19, Tokyo ordered 32 restaurants, which it said did not comply with the request, to shorten their operating hours.

The order was based on Article 45 of the revised special measures legislation aimed at dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

But Tokyo officials say they found that four of the restaurants defied the order.

This is the first case in Japan where a local government has sought fines based on the revised special measures law.