Cinemas in Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama also re-open since the State of Emergency was lifted
It's been a week and a half since the State of Emergency to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) had been lifted across Japan, and while the lifting in other parts of the country meant "business as usual," Tokyo is reopening in stages – and is currently in its second stage of three-stages of reopening the economy, despite currently being under a "Tokyo Alert" due to the rapid increase in new cases over the last few days.
Because of this, entertainment businesses across the Tokyo Metropolitan Region are finally reopening after months of being closed, including cinema chains. It was announced on June 2 that the biggest movie chain in Japan, Toho Cinema, would be reopening all of their cinemas in the Tokyo Metropolitan Region (which includes Chiba prefecture, Saitama prefecture, and Kanagawa prefecture) on June 5, with showings of the 4K version of AKIRA, which was delayed from April 3, Weathering with You, your name., Lu Over the Wall, The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, and a selection of Psycho-Pass anime films.
Despite reopening, Toho Cinemas will be implementing measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. This includes distancing in cinemas with only every other seat being sold, the removal of lobby seating and tables, only being pre-buy online tickets starting at midnight that day, closing at 10 PM at night, and requiring everyone to wear masks, refusing entry to those who aren't wearing a mask.
Other major cinema chains in Tokyo, Cinema Sunshine and SMT Theaters, had already resumed business on June 1 with similar policies in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus in one of the biggest cities in the world. With the Sonic the Hedgehog live-action film to be confirmed to screened in Japan from June 26, this might pave the way for more new films to be released in Japan after being postponed.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.