December is the busiest month of the year for Japanese people. Customer colleagues, relatives and friends will hold several “Forget Annual Meetings” in a month, big and small, in preparation for the new year. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Japanese people are destined to be lonely New Year’s Eve this year, and many people feel very frustrated.
Japan is ushering in the third wave of COVID-19. According to a report by Japan’s NHK TV station on the 2nd, the number of confirmed cases in Tokyo reached 500 again after four days, and the number of confirmed cases in Japan has exceeded 150,000. In order to avoid the spread of the epidemic, Tokyo called on restaurants to “shorten business hours” and provide a one-time subsidy of 400,000 yen ($4000) for restaurants that responded to the call.
Local governments also suggested that people “reduce gatherings”, which made the Japanese people who were preparing for the New Year’s Eve shout “slacken”. According to a recent survey of 2,381 companies in Tokyo, 2,150 companies said that “will not forget the annual meeting and New Year’s meeting this year”, accounting for more than 90%, 2 percentage points higher than the national average of 88%.
According to the Japan Economic News, the store manager of a family wine house in Kabukicho, Shinjuku, said that previous years, this season was the peak season for the annual meeting, and it was normal not to reserve seats. Passenger flow has decreased significantly this year, and so far reservations are almost blank.
Nakayama, an employee of a Tokyo company, told the Global Times that in the past, the schedule of this time was filled with forgetting annual meetings. This year, no company and friends organized, and he had no plans to participate in forgetting annual meetings. It’s too lonely. Maybe this year has passed like this. He complained, “This is nothing we can do.”