Department stores almost fully reopen on weekdays

Department stores in Tokyo and Osaka have begun operating almost as usual on weekdays as restrictions under the coronavirus state of emergency were eased.

Japan's state of emergency was extended for nine prefectures including Tokyo and Osaka for another 20 days on Tuesday.

But large commercial facilities are now being asked to close areas selling non-essentials only on weekends. On weekdays, they can now stay open until 8 p.m.

Tobu Department Store in Tokyo's Ikebukuro area reopened sales floors for jewelry, paintings, watches and other goods for the first time in 40 days.

A store official said that demand for seasonal items such as summer wear is rising, so she hopes to fulfill it as she takes thorough anti-infection measures.

In Osaka, Daimaru Umeda opened all floors at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Most of the department store had been closed since April 25, except for the area selling daily essentials such as food.

About 20 people had lined up before the doors opened. On the men's floor, customers were seen browsing for items such as belts and underwear.

A woman in her 60s said she was very eager to get new shoes, so she is very happy.