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Ginza’s pedestrian heaven reopened for the first time in over 80 days, drawing in large crowds.

Tokyo to Completely Reopen and Immigration Restrictions to Relax

Despite a brief spike in cases this week, the relatively low number of new Coronavirus patients recently have convinced the Japanese government to completely reopen Tokyo, effective from today. All previous measures on businesses and establishments, such as operating until 10 pm, will be lifted, allowing all places to run as usual. Previously canceled public events are scheduled to resume as well, including concerts and live shows. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo addressed the public Thursday evening, explaining that the “New Lifestyle” that has been adopted will see no change, and encouraged people to continue avoiding the 3 Mitsu’s: large crowds, cramped spaces, and close contact.

Along with this announcement, loosening restrictions on immigration for countries with infections under control, such as Vietnam, New Zealand, and Thailand, is also planned. The government plans to allow entry into Japan if certain documents that state your intended activities are agreed to and submitted beforehand.

Old Japanese Man Shopping in Conbini

Man Arrested for SARS Misunderstanding

A man in Kyoto was arrested and later lost his job over a misunderstanding where a local conbini (convenience store) employee heard the phrase “I have SARS.” The older man in his 60s visited his local conbini to buy some stuff, and in his exchange with the cashier, he went to say, “You may get infected if I touch, so please sanitize these.” However, the cashier misheard this as “I have SARS, so please sanitize these.” Once the man left the shop, the store manager called the police, and the man was later arrested and taken in.

Even after repeatedly telling the police that he did not say that he had SARS and that it was likely a misunderstanding, police reportedly pressured the man to admit that he did by repeating, “you said SARS didn’t you?” over and over again. After checking the surveillance footage, the word SARS could not be heard. The man’s case was dropped due to insufficient evidence; however, the negative attention of his arrest led to him losing his job.

The PS5 along with its several accessories.

The PS5 is Revealed, but Something’s Missing

On Friday, 12th June, the Playstation 5 was finally revealed to the public via an online announcement. The announcement included a first look at the design of the console’s unique shape and coloring, which was then quickly photoshopped across the internet with hilarious results.  The controller design, a wireless charging dock, headphones, and camera were also announced as accessories. The most controversial aspect of the reveal was a lack of the price. Rumors quickly began swirling of why it was hidden and what the price will range from.

One rumor believes that Sony is intentionally hiding the price from its competitor, the recently announced Xbox Series X. The price of both consoles is currently unknown, and each may be waiting to undercut the price of the other’s console for an economical advantage.  The reveal also brought a strong lineup of new games to excite fans with titles such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales, NBA 2k21, and a remake of Demon’s Souls.
Hostess and host clubs gear up for Corona anti-measures as Tokyo completely reopens. The PS5 is finally revealed. A man is accused of saying he has SARS. Worry for Shonen Jump after the loss of three popular works.
The three recently finished manga in order: Demon Slayer, Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, and The Promised Neverland.

Several Big Series for Shonen Jump Come to an End

This week saw the end of another popular and long-time running series for Shonen Jump with The Promised Neverland, or Yakusoku no Nebarando, coming to a close. The manga began serialization in August of 2016 and quickly gained popularity, winning the Shogakukan Manga Award for Shonen manga in January of 2018 and currently has over 21 million copies in circulation. This marks the third popular series that has finished serialization in Jump in the past month.

Demon Slayer ended last month and just recently Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs, or Yuragi-so no Yuna-san, ended on June 8th. All three of these mangas entered Shonen Jump in 2016 and have now finished in a strangely synchronized timing. With three popular series all leaving the weekly pages of Jump, fans are worried about the magazine’s future.

However, this is not the first time that several series has come to a close at the same time. In 2016, the same year that these three series began, Bleach, Toriko, and Nisekoi all finished their serializations. Fans are hoping that this pattern will once again mark a beginning for a new generation of manga for Shonen Jump.

A host sprays a table down with alcohol before the club`s opening.

Host and Hostess Clubs Struggle to Adapt to Corona

While the number of Coronavirus outbreaks in Japan has calmed down lately, some places still see higher numbers of outbreaks than others, particularly businesses that operate “after hours.” Despite facing the most intense restrictions, with most being closed or allowing only a few reservations, institutions such as host and hostess clubs have been labeled as being a major source of outbreaks in Tokyo. As the city looks to reopen from today (June 19th) fully, many businesses are stepping up their countermeasures to ensure a successful restart.

Clubs will enforce social distancing as best they can, masks will be required at all times, temperature testing will be done upon entering, and mandatory hand-washing and gargling are just some actions being taken. While the measures sound promising, some club owners have stated that maintaining a two-meter distance between clients is simply impossible in an industry that revolves around intimacy.

Many hosts and hostesses have been greatly affected by Corona since their source of income revolves around the close relationships they have with their customers. Some clubs have already reopened with the claim that it is to help their workers “survive.”

Hosts of Ryu Tokyo Podcast

Julian Domanski

Born in England, Julian is a writer, videographer & musician living in Tokyo. When he’s not drinking copious amounts of English Tea, he can be found studying Japanese or trying to master the surprisingly complex basics of the Jiuta Shamisen.

Yasuharu Matsuno

Founder of Ryu Tokyo. Japanese-born entrepreneur. Yasu spent his life around the globe – Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Australia, and the U.S. He hopes he had more time to play Japanese RPGs. MBA from Columbia University in the City of New York.