National

Tokyo's Shibuya Ward bans drinking in some areas for Halloween and New Year's

Kyodo

The Shibuya Ward Assembly approved an ordinance Wednesday banning the consumption of alcohol on some of the area’s streets and parks during Halloween and New Year’s events to address an increasing number of incidents by rowdy partygoers.

The ordinance calls on restaurants to refrain from serving customers alcohol, bans the use of audio equipment blasting loud noises and prohibits individuals from climbing up street lamps in areas near Shibuya Station, one of the capital city’s most popular entertainment districts.

There are, however, no penalties stipulated for offenders of the ordinance, which will apply to celebrations starting this year.

“It’s unfortunate that a law needs to be laid down because of the negative attention gained from events like Halloween,” Shibuya Mayor Ken Hasebe said. “It’s a problem that should have been resolved through proper etiquette and morals.”

“As long as concerns remain over people who cause trouble and commit crimes, we will carry out our duty and make this ban widely known,” he said.

More than 300,000 people, mostly aged from their late teens to their 30s, gathered around Shibuya’s iconic scramble crossing on Halloween and the previous weekend last year, according to police.

Ten men, both Japanese and foreign nationals, were referred to prosecutors in January after they allegedly overturned a small truck near the station during a Halloween event in late October last year.

A panel was set up by Shibuya Ward to discuss what to do with escalating pranks in public spaces in the district during the celebrations. They issued an interim report in May calling for the establishment of regulations.

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