Business leaders said Thursday support will be necessary for struggling firms under a second state of emergency over the novel coronavirus in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, while they viewed the decision as inevitable due to resurging infections.

Many owners in the restaurant industry are expected to follow a government request to shorten their business hours, bracing for a further drop in revenue after the number of bankruptcies in the sector hit an all-time high last year as many people refrained from dining out.

"A fresh request for shorter business hours, among others, will deal an additional blow to businesses that have already taken an enormous hit, especially restaurants that have barely endured on the brink of management crisis," said Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.