TOKYO – Japanese host and hostess clubs must act quickly to ensure they abide by rules to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus after nightlife districts became new hot spots in a resurgence of infections, the economy minister said on Friday.
The call from Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, tasked with leading Japan’s pandemic response, came as Tokyo reported a record daily high of 243 new infections on Friday.
Infections in the capital have been creeping up since the government lifted a state of emergency about a month ago, with the notorious Kabukicho red-light district becoming a major source of cases.
“We need to take steps quickly,” Nishimura told reporters.
Clusters were first found among Kabukicho’s many host clubs, where smartly dressed young men entertain women customers over drinks, and then at the female equivalent hostess or “cabaret” clubs.
Outbreaks have also been found in similar clubs in Ikebukuro’s red-light district, as well as in some cafes where women dress up as maids to entertain customers in the Akihabara electronics town.