Osaka prefecture governor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, has indicated he is considering closure instructions based on the revised Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response if pachinko parlors in Sakai City do not respond to the prefecture’s previous closure requests.
The Cabinet Secretariat said it will be the first time in Japan such an instruction has been issued.
According to the prefecture, one particular pachinko parlor – one of six named publicly on 24 April – is at the heart of the order. Five of those six have since closed.
The Act on Special Measures provides for three levels of instruction: Article 24 allows a “request for cooperation”, Article 45, Clause 2 allows a “request” and Clause 3 of the same article allows “instruction.”
The instruction is a legal obligation, but it is questionable whether it is effective without any enforceable penalties.
Governor Yoshimura stated, “I will implement this as a political decision to protect the lives of residents of this prefecture in two days’ time (30 April).”