Home to a legion of host clubs and hostess bars, Kabukicho — a red-light district in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo — has now become emblematic of Japan's nightlife sector that authorities brand as a hotbed of new coronavirus infections.

Since lifting the state of emergency on May 25, Tokyo has seen a litany of new COVID-19 cases traced back to what is broadly termed the yoru no machi (nighttime entertainment district).

Of the 147 cases reported since June 1 through Sunday in the capital, 59 — about 40 percent — have been linked to such downtown districts, according to a Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) official. On Saturday, 12 host club employees in a Shinjuku neighborhood were confirmed to be infected.