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Japan liquor trade group protests request to stop dealing with bars serving alcohol

A Liberal Democratic Party Headquarters sign is seen in this file photo taken in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. (Mainichi/Kazuhisa Soneda)

TOKYO -- An association of liquor retailers in Japan protested to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s policy chief Hakubun Shimomura on July 12 over an LDP minister's request for retailers to stop dealing with bars that keep serving alcohol during the latest coronavirus state of emergency.

    The All Japan Liquor Merchants Association demanded the LDP revise the request by economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of Japan's coronavirus response, saying that his remark was "outrageous."

    The association's chairperson Kiyotaka Yoshida told Shimomura that liquor retailers were being targeted and added, "There is heavy criticism in the industry (over the request). I want you to tell the central government." Shimomura apparently responded, "We recognize the current harsh conditions and will make an effort."

    Though Nishimura on July 9 retracted his request for financial institutions to ensure restaurants follow the ban on serving alcohol, he has not withdrawn his July 8 administrative circular for liquor retailers, which stated, "Please suspend providing alcohol to such eateries."

    (Japanese original by Shuhei Endo, Political News Department)

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