Japan: COVID-19 Pandemics Impact on Japan HRI Industry

  |   Attaché Report (GAIN)   |   JA2021-0098

The Government of Japan (GOJ) declared a third state of emergency (SOE) on April 28, 2021, in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The SOE covered 10 prefectures, and included Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Aichi, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Okinawa. Originally set to expire on May 11, the SOE was extended to June 20. Among other restrictions, the SOE banned the sale of alcoholic beverages by restaurants and mandated that restaurants close by 8:00 pm. According to a report from the Japan Foodservice Association (JF), restaurant sales in March 2021 fell 5.2 percent from March 2020 levels on an all-store basis, down for the 13th consecutive month, and down a whopping 19.6 percent from pre-pandemic sales in March 2019. The coronavirus pandemic deeply impacted both the HRI and tourism industries, and industry stakeholders are pursuing new business models and menus that include non-alcoholic beverages as well as expanding takeout and delivery services as a result.

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