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Popular Japanese pub chain shuts 20% of its locations due to virus

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japantoday– The Japanese owner of several popular pub chains said it was shutting down 20% of its bars in Tokyo, saying the latest lockdown measures made it difficult to keep them open.

Monteroza, which owns the Shirokiya and Uotami pub chains known for their inexpensive food and all-you-can-drink menus, said it was closing 61 of its 337 locations in Tokyo.

Japan declared a second state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic in areas including Tokyo earlier this month, asking restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m. and urging people to stay home.

“At this rate, the survival of our business is in jeopardy. We have around 20,000 employees including part-time workers, and it will be difficult to maintain their employment,” the privately-owned company said in a statement.

Monteroza said that as a large business, it was unlikely to qualify for the payments being planned for small bars and restaurants as part of a government rescue package.