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Japan's Aeon reopens shopping centres

05/28/2020 | 04:14am

One of Japan's biggest shopping centres operated by retail giant Aeon Co Ltd reopened on Thursday after the government lifted its state of emergency earlier in the week, prompting stores to open with precautions to prevent coronavirus infections.

Aeon Mall in Chiba, east of Tokyo, shoppers had their temperatures checked at the entrance, while staff wore protective face shields and stood behind transparent plastic barriers. Visitor numbers were monitored to prevent overcrowding.

"We had been looking forward to this full reopening for a while and I am happy about this," Junichi Kobayashi, General Manager at Aeon Mall Makuhari Shintoshin, told reporters.

"On the other hand, we feel a great responsibility for how to provide a safe and secure (environment) for our customers."

Other major retailers such as casual clothing chain Uniqlo, owned by Fast Retailing, have already been gradually reopening stores. Department store operator Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings is due to resume business at its flagship stores on Saturday after closing them in early April.

The global death toll from the pandemic is now more than 300,000. Japan has confirmed around 800 deaths from 16,000 cases.

(Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Kim Coghill)

Thomson Reuters 2020
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