Shinjuku Ward to Ban Public Drinking on Halloween; Looking to Prevent Disruptive Behavior

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shinjuku Ward Office

The municipal government of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward has announced that it will submit an ordinance proposal to the ward assembly for a ban on drinking on streets and in parks around JR Shinjuku Station during Halloween.

A proposed ordinance to ban drinking on streets and in parks around Tokyo’s JR Shinjuku Station during Halloween will be submitted to the Shinjuku Ward Assembly, the ward government has announced.

There is a similar ordinance against public drinking in neighboring Shibuya Ward. That prompted many people, including tourists, to rush to Shinjuku Ward from Shibuya to drink outdoors during Halloween last year, causing problems with noise and garbage.

Shinjuku Ward aims to enact the ordinance by the end of June.

The ban is expected to be in effect from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1. No penalties have been planned for violators. The areas under consideration for the ban are the Shinjuku Sanchome district outside the east exit of Shinjuku Station and the Kabukicho Itchome district, including the so-called Toyoko area. The precise areas and hours will be decided by regulations after the ordinance is enacted.

Shibuya Ward enacted an ordinance to prohibit drinking on streets and in parks near JR Shibuya Station in 2019. During the Halloween period last year, about 3,000 people, including tourists, avoided Shibuya and gathered around Shinjuku Station instead. They left a large amount of garbage on the streets, and some young people were noisy and disruptive.

Therefore, the local chamber of commerce and other entities submitted a written request to the ward to prohibit drinking on streets and disruptive behavior.

“I want to prevent accidents and excessive congestion of people with the restrictions,” Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi said.

This month, Shibuya Ward submitted a proposal to the ward assembly to revise the ordinance, expanding the area covered by the ban and making it effective year-round.