Coronavirus: Fights break out in streets of Japanese city amid face mask shortage

Right beside a long queue of people, some shoppers brawled on a street in a shopping district in Yokohama on Feb 25, 2020.
Right beside a long queue of people, some shoppers brawled on a street in a shopping district in Yokohama on Feb 25, 2020.PHOTO: TOKAGE_TO_KUMA/TWITTER

TOKYO ( PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Some citizens in Japan have been caught on video getting violent while waiting to buy face masks, presumably due to the product's scarcity in their area.

The demand for masks in the country has exceeded the pharmacy and convenience stores' supply. Some citizens camp outside the stores before they open hoping to get their hands on fresh stock of face masks, Sora News 24 reported on Wednesday (Feb 26).

This was apparently the situation at a shopping district in Yokohama on Tuesday. Right beside a long queue of people, some shoppers are seen brawling in a Twitter post of @tokage_to_kuma on the same day.

From a different angle, a video posted by  @Apple_JpN shows four people involved in the fight.

A woman dressed in a blue and orange jacket is seen hitting a person wearing a long black puffy jacket and the two eventually stumble and wrestle on the ground.

Two men are seen fighting in the background - a man in a brown coat is seen being stopped by a brown-vested man. The man with the brown coat struggles to break free from his opponent and eventually makes his way to the two women on the ground.

Attempting to break up the brawl on the ground, the man with the brown coat pulls the woman with the orange and blue jacket. Eventually, all four of them stumble on the pavement.

 

According to Sora, some Twitter users speculated that the brawl began after one person accused another of cutting the queue. Others believe that money might be involved. Some shoppers have apparently been buying masks in bulk in order to resell them at a higher value.