TOKYO -- A public backlash is spreading over another alcohol ban at restaurants in Tokyo that started July 12 as a fresh COVID-19 state of emergency went into effect, prompting social network users to share a sign that says, "We're voting for anything except (the ruling) LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) or (its coalition partner) Komeito."
The online movement had "anything but the LDP or Komeito" trending on Twitter Japan. Dissatisfaction among the Japanese public over the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, including economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura's recent comment that he would ask financial institutions to make sure that non-compliant businesses follow the no alcohol rule at eateries, has apparently been fueling such protests.
The sign that's being shared on social media reads, "This establishment has thorough measures against infections in place. We firmly oppose an unfair 'state of emergency.' We're voting for anything but the LDP or Komeito in the general election this fall. We ask our customers to do the same."
The sign was created by the online political salon "Horie school of government and management," where entrepreneur Takafumi Horie serves as an outside lecturer. The group urges businesses that support their view to print the sign out and post it at their shops.
Twitter users rallied behind the move, with one writing, "It's only natural for restaurants to get angry when the government only attacks them (regarding COVID-19 infections). It's necessary to make the public aware by using this kind of poster." Another posted, "Damage is being done to non-eatery establishments, too," while another user wrote, "I don't own a restaurant, but the current administration is no good as they failed to have effective coronavirus measures put in place by the Olympics and Paralympics after they had a one-year extension."
At the same time, some users remained skeptical about the sign, saying, "Online political salon Horie school of government and management operated by the Horiemon New Party made that poster. It's in no way to mean that restaurant businesses are collectively rising to revolt."
(Japanese original by the Digital News Center)