With Japan under a state of emergency due to Covid-19, its arcades face a nightly curfew and risk hefty fines for staying open. AFP News reports that bars and restaurants get compensation from the government to replace lost earnings, but that’s not the case for arcades.
“Usually after 6 p.m. until midnight is the most profitable time,” said Yasushi Fukamachi, manager at the legendary Tokyo arcade Mikado. “Now we have to close at 8 p.m., which means we lose our four most profitable hours. The government is doing nothing to help us out of this hopeless situation. Our income has gone down by more than half. This is horrible.”
Last year, a number of arcades closed permanently in the country. Many of them depended on tourists, who are no longer allowed in the country during the pandemic.