Shibuya Mayor Hasebe Asks Halloween Partiers to Stay Away

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Many young people in Halloween costumes are seen at the scramble crossing near Shibuya Station in Tokyo on Oct. 31, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Ken Hasebe, mayor of Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, on Tuesday asked that people not gather around Shibuya Station to celebrate Halloween, citing safety concerns.

The area around the train station, including the famous scramble crossing, has become a destination for crowds of nighttime Halloween revelers.

It would be dangerous if crowds of costumed youngsters and foreign partiers flock to the area, Hasebe told a press conference.

It is unusual for Shibuya Ward to ask that people not come on Halloween for a reason other than to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The ward will ask people via social media to avoid coming to Shibuya on the night of Oct. 31.

Hasebe said he regrets that drinking on streets has taken root in Shibuya in a fallout from past COVID-19 restrictions on restaurant and bar operations.

Citing last year’s deadly crowd crush in Seoul’s Itaewon district just ahead of Halloween, Hasebe warned that an accident like that “could happen anytime.”