Street drinking to be banned in parts of Tokyo's bustling Shibuya


Pedestrians crossing the famous 'Shibuya Scramble' in Tokyo. Photo: Bloomberg

In Japan, Tokyo's Shibuya Ward will enforce a year-round ban on nighttime street drinking in certain areas starting in October, amid growing concerns over public safety and cleanliness, Xinhua reported quoting the ward office.

The decision expands the current restrictions, which were previously limited to Halloween and the New Year's holidays.

The local assembly unanimously enacted revisions to an ordinance, setting the stage for the new regulations, which will prohibit alcohol consumption in public spaces, such as parks and streets, from 6pm to 5am the next day.

The precise locations where the prohibition will be enforced will be determined in the coming weeks.

The move was built on a 2019 ordinance that initially banned nighttime drinking on certain streets near JR Shibuya Station during Halloween and the year-end holidays, due to problems caused by large crowds of partygoers, which resulted in public disturbances and significant littering.

Near the busy scramble crossing in Tokyo, one of the world's most bustling spots, young people and foreign tourists drinking on the streets have become a common sight. Local shop operators and residents, troubled by the empty cans and trash left behind, have been pushing for expanded restrictions.

The revised ordinance aims to address the concerns by extending the ban to areas near the Shibuya ward office and the east side of Shibuya Station without imposing penalties, such as fines, for those who violate the rules. Instead, ward authorities plan to deploy security personnel to patrol the area and offer "guidance" to those drinking outdoors. – Bernama/Xinhua

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