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Japan to introduce fines penalising those breaking Covid-19 safety measures

The new legislation has so far been approved by the Lower House

By
Lim Chee Wah
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Unlike many countries in the world which impose penalties for those breaking Covid-19 restrictions, Japan has thus far not implemented similar measures. But that’s about to change.

Following its approval by the Lower House yesterday, Monday February 1, Japan could enact the new penalty bill as soon as Wednesday February 3 to help combat the pandemic. Currently the proposed law is being debated in the Upper House.

According to a Japan Times report, the proposed penalties are:

  • Up to ¥500,000 fine for Covid-19 patients who refuse to be hospitalised
  • Up to ¥300,000 fine for ‘those who fail to participate’ in official and authorised epidemiological surveys
  • Up to ¥300,000 fine for non-compliant restaurants and bars that don’t shorten their business hours as per state of emergency orders


In addition, the new law also allows for the designation of a new public health status prior to the declaration of state of emergency. While this precursor situation sits below the state of emergency in terms of seriousness, the government would still be able to call for special measures to be imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

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