Japan will start reopening its shuttered Apple Stores this week

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Apple new store in Japan
Apple's most recent store opened in Tokyo in September.
Photo: Apple

Apple will start reopening Apple Stores in Japan this week, following on from reopening in Australia, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Switzerland, and select stores in the United States and Italy.

Like all other non-China markets, Apple’s Japan retail stores have been closed since the middle of March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first two Japanese stores to reopen are those located in Fukuoka and Sakae, Nagoya. Both are due to reopen Tuesday May 27. Apple has yet to reveal the reopening date for the other retail locations in the country.

Bloomberg writes that:

“Tokyo remains under an official state of emergency, though Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Monday that the government’s advisory panel had approved a plan to lift the measure later that day, a week ahead of schedule.”

The publication, which shared news of the reopening, says that Apple will be incorporating various safety measures for its reopened stores in Japan. These include temperature checks at the door, social distancing, and the use of protective masks. Apple has instituted similar rules for other reopenings.

Apple Stores in Japan

Japan is not an enormous market for Apple, although it is a passionate one. Back in 2003, Japan was selected as the first country outside of the U.S. to receive an Apple Store. One major reason for this was Steve Jobs’ love of the country. Jobs had a lifelong affection for Japan, and visited often.

Apple’s most recent retail outlet to open in Japan was its largest yet Tokyo venue. This is located in the city’s Marunouchi business district, in close proximity to Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. It opened in September. Apple is currently in the middle of a a multi-year retail investment and expansion in Japan.