Japanese city pleads with partygoers to ‘stay away’ on Halloween 2023

Japanese city pleads with partygoers to ‘stay away’ on Halloween 2023Japanese city pleads with partygoers to ‘stay away’ on Halloween 2023
via Guwashi999 (CC BY 2.0)
With Halloween right around the corner, the Shibuya City government is gearing up by warning potential visitors not to celebrate the unofficial festivity in the city starting next week.
A city’s warning: Posting on X in English and Japanese on Tuesday, the local government advised visitors not to celebrate Halloween around Shibuya Station from Oct. 27 to 31. It added that “drinking on the streets near Shibuya Station will be prohibited by local ordinance,” which will be in effect between 6 p.m. and 5 a.m. during those dates.
“On Halloween night, everyone should stay away from Shibuya,” the on-screen text on the video post reads.
View post on X
Emphasizing the message: Shibuya Ward Mayor Ken Hasebe reiterated the city government’s sentiment on multiple occasions, including once during a press conference in September and another one on Oct. 5.
At those conferences, the mayor explained that the local government is looking to avoid a fatal disaster similar to what happened in Itaewon, South Korea, in 2022, when 159 people died during a “crowd crush.” About 196 people were also injured during the incident.
The local government has also placed signs around the city reminding people, “No events for Halloween on Shibuya streets.”
Other reasons: Besides the potential for a crowd disaster, other factors the local government considered for the decision include the increasing amount of visitors and public drinking during Halloween. When large crowds and alcohol are involved, public chaos sometimes follows, as it did during an unofficial Halloween celebration in Tokyo in 2018.
How people are reacting: Some English-speaking X users expressed disappointment on the social media platform after reading the post, with one X user pointing out that it was unfair how “honest people … pay the price because of people who don’t practice moderation.”
Another X user also expressed sadness at the news, stating that they have never gotten to experience Halloween in Tokyo, adding, “Thanks for nothing.”
One X user suggested that the local government “should organize a proper spot somewhere else” that has more space than Shibuya.
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