Tokyo restaurant chain withdraws appeal over COVID restrictions case

Global Dining Inc. Chairman Kozo Hasegawa, left, and his lawyer Rintaro Kuramochi hold a press conference in Tokyo on August 16, 2022. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) – A Tokyo-based restaurant chain operator revealed on Tuesday that it has withdrawn an appeal for a lawsuit in which it seeks damages against the Tokyo Metropolitan Government for ordering the reduction of hours opening hours during the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement from Global Dining Inc., which operates dozens of restaurants, completes a Tokyo District Court ruling in May that said the order was illegal, but that Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, who had placed the order, was not at fault. .

The restaurateur made the decision to step down “as it had become increasingly likely that a request for cross-examination by Governor Koike would be denied,” plaintiff’s attorney Rintaro Kuramochi told a conference call. release in Tokyo.

In the first oral hearing in the Tokyo High Court on Tuesday, the metropolitan government claimed questioning the governor was “unnecessary”, while presiding judge Yasushi Kanokogi expressed his intention to rule after further hearings.

Following last year’s revision of a law on special measures against coronaviruses, prefectures could order restaurants and other businesses to reduce their opening hours during the state of emergency if they defy demand. initial for no valid reason.

The restaurants operated by Global-Dining were among 2,000 establishments that did not comply with a request to close at 8 p.m. under a COVID-19 state of emergency issued in early January in the Tokyo area and d other prefectures, according to the complainant.

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