[Basic Knowledge] What’s happening in Japan under the COVID-19 state of emergency


Hello ! My name is shinta, Japanese blog writer, born and raised in Japan. I’m introducing real Japanese information from Japan to the world.

This page may assist who want to

  • to know what is state of emergency in Japan
  • to see what is happening in Japan under the emergency state
  • to know how Japanese society run under the emergency state


COVID-19 is going around in Japan.

I live in Yokohama and work in Tokyo actually, where are under emergency state by Japanese government

In this page, I would like to write current situation in Japan.

You may get knowledge about COVID-19 emergency state and what’s happening in Japan

Basic knowledge

The area under state of emergency

For Japanese, this is second time to be under COVID-19 state of emergency. In this time, statement is placed for one month, from 8th. January to 7th. February. Government will review period, based on situation of epidemic in declared areas.

Basic knowledge of emergency state in Japan

  • Period : One month, from 8th. January to 7th. February >> extended to 7th. March
    • 1/8 – : Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama
    • 1/14 – : Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Gifu, Aichi, Fukuoka (Tochigi ended in 7th.Feb)
  • Self-quarantine is required, especially after 20:00
  • No punishment even going out

** Japanese government decided to extend another one month, till 7th.March, except Tochigi prefecture **

Restaurant and Cafe

It seems that restaurant is a main target to place restrictions to minimize infections of COVID-19. As per the order of government, prefectural governors asked owners not to open their restaurant after 20:00, with subsidies. Providing of alcohol is until 19:00 in most of areas under statement. As far as I see, most of restaurant follow to the order, while there’s no punishment.

Situation around cafe and restaurant in Japan

  • Requested by governor not to open after 20:00
  • Provision of alcohol is until 19:00
  • No punishment even opening midnight
  • Most of restaurant responded requests, even global companies
    • Macdonald : Closing eating space at 20:00
    • Starbucks : Closing cafe at 20:00
    • Subway : Closing shop at 20:00
    • Kentucky Fried Chicken: Closing at 20:00


Generally, we can go shopping as usual even in area under the state of emergency by Japanese government. Supermarkets, convenience stores, drugstores, department stores, and almost all retailers are open in Japan. However, in some cases, opening hours is shortened till 20:00, or closed, due to decrease of people on the street.

Operational situation of retailers in most of cases

  • Convenience stores: Opening 24/7
  • Drugstores : Opening as usual
  • Supermarkets : Opening as usual or shorter hours
  • Department stores: Opening as usual or shorter hours
  • Apparel, Electrical goods, Books, etc : Basically open as usual or shorter hours

Public Transport

Public transport system is available for short distance movement. Local trains, bus, Taxi, etc. On the other hand, there are reductions of operational numbers, in long distance transport like Airplanes, Shinkansen as high speed train. Government ask people not to make unnecessary movement, while there’s no restrictions for movement at this moment.

Operational situation of public transport

  • Local transport
    • Train : Operated as usual (Planing to make last train advanced
    • Bus : Operated as usual in most of area
    • Taxi : Operated as usual
  • Long distance transport
    • Train : Number of trains are decreased
    • Airplane : Number of flight are decreased

Office Workers

Both of Japanese government and prefectural governors are asking private companies to enhance remote working (Work from Home) as much as possible. In Japanese-English, it’s called as ‘Tele-work’. Government set target to decrease 70% of commuter movements. However, the ratio of remote working is around 30 % in Tokyo and suburbs, and 20% in all of Japan.


In first emergency statement last year, all of classes of schools and universities in Japan. On the other hand, in 2nd COVID-19 state of emergency, classes of educational institutions are continued. In January and February, it’s season of entrance examination. So far, most of examinations are held, with taking care of examinees having impact of COVID-19.

Event / Entertainment

In the announcement of state of emergency, Japanese government set guidelines to hold large scale events during the period of declaration. The maximum number of participants is less than 5,000, even the outside event. And it should be less than 50% of capacity. Under the circumstances, some of events were cancelled or postponed, regrettably.

Situation around large scale events in Japan

  • Ceremony of coming age : Canceled or postponed in most of cases
  • Sumo January round : Held based on guideline
  • Basketball league : Held, as per the guideline
  • Concert : Held, as per guideline or cancelled
  • Baseball, Football : Off season


In the end, I would like to summarize the points of this article as follows


Are there any difference between state of your country ?

What’s happening in Japan under state of emergency

  • State of emergency placed in 11 prefectures in Japan
  • Restaurant and cafe closed in 20:00
  • Most of stores are opening as usual
  • Public transport are operated
  • Work from home is recommended (Target : 70%)
  • Educational institutions are not closed
  • Capacity of event is restricted

Thank you very much for your reading and see you again !