Tokyo is witnessing a quieter weekend than usual as authorities asked people to stay at home and not to step out without a valid reason.

Parks, departmental stores, movie theatres and restaurants have been closed down in the metropolitan city. Authorities have also restricted people from entering popular viewing spots keep away large gatherings.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike had appealed to the city's 14 million people to stay home this weekend and work from home as much as possible on weekdays. Many businesses responded to the appeal by keeping closed. Starbucks closed all its stores in Tokyo over the weekend. Mecca Shibuya kept its 109 teen fashion stores closed. Aeon Co closed its malls.


The inhabitants of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama neighboring Tokyo have also been asked by their governors to stay away from Tokyo over the weekend. Yoshinori Yamaguchi, the Governor of Saga, slammed local restaurant businesses for not serving food to foreign customers. "I don't want to see incidents where businesses refuse people's entries just because they're foreigners," he said.

Situation in Japan

Japan has reported 1,500 confirmed cases and 49 deaths due to coronavirus. The government has sent army personnel to Tokyo's Narita and Haneda airports to assist in the screening and transport of people who are quarantined.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference on Saturday that the country was close to an emergency as the number of cases increases.

As in other parts of the globe, coronavirus is causing major damage to Japan's economy. The government is working on a huge relief package that will be more than the size of the package made in the wake of the global financial crises of 2008 worth $528 billion. "We are in a critical stage. We need to be ready for a long-term battle," Abe added.