Spirits giant Suntory Holdings Ltd. believes the worst is over as nations ease social distancing measures, allowing bars and restaurants to reopen after months of curbs that hit its business.

"Cities are slowly starting to reopen, and business is starting to get better,” said Suntory’s CEO Takeshi Niinami, who thinks his firm’s global sales hit bottom last month. It could take more than six months for business to return to normal, he said, provided there is no second wave of coronavirus infections.

Japan, which has so far managed to contain the outbreak better than its Asian peers China and India without imposing a nationwide lockdown, has slowly begun getting back to business. A national state of emergency order was lifted in the Tokyo region late last month and establishments from gyms to schools are now reopening their doors.