Tokyo Covid-19 curbs declared illegal in 'Kill Bill' restaurant case

Global-Dining, which runs the Gonpachi restaurant of Kill Bill fame, won the ruling, but was denied a 104 yen claim. PHOTO: GONPACHI.JP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's "Kill Bill" restaurant operator prevailed in a court case on Monday (May 16) that declared Tokyo's now defunct Covid-19 infection curbs were illegal.

The orders, enacted in the capital during various states of emergency, included shortened operating hours and a ban on alcohol sales, though there was a compensating government subsidy. Businesses that didn't comply were subject to fines.

Global-Dining, which runs more than 40 restaurants, defied the restrictions, taking the city government to court over the matter.

The district court said the Tokyo government had not provided a "rational explanation" for the measures. The court determined they had been illegal but it denied Global-Dining's claim for 104 yen (S$1.12) in damages.

The restrictions ended in March. Whether this ruling would inhibit the city government in acting against any renewed Covid-19 outbreak is unclear.

In a statement, Global-Dining president Kozo Hasegawa, said the case revealed the "injustice and sloppiness of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government". His company crowd-funded more than 25 million yen to fight the case.

Global-Dining's Gonpachi restaurant, with a cavernous inner courtyard, inspired the fight scene in Quentin Tarantino's first "Kill Bill" film. It was the site of a dinner between then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi and then US president George W. Bush in 2002.

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