Japan’s coronavirus lockdown strips exotic dancer of her savings

TOKYO – Exotic dancer Aya Yumiko has been living off her savings since March waiting for the bars and clubs in Tokyo where she performs in burlesque shows to reopen.

But a decision by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week to extend a state of emergency to tackle the coronavirus pandemic until the end of May means Yumiko could use up her last reserves of cash before she can get back to work.

“I had enough saved up to last me for two or three months,” the 40-year-old dancer who performs under the name Aya Mermaid told Reuters before Abe’s decision.

During her unexpected break she uses a sewing machine at home to fashion new costumes from feathers, faux fur and other materials and tries to keep fit with springtime runs through a nearby park.

Japan’s lockdown has been less severe than many other countries, with bars, restaurants and other entertainment venues asked to stay closed rather than ordered to do so.

Despite a $1.1 trillion stimulus package, the Japanese economy is slowing, with factory output down and consumer prices in Tokyo falling for the first time in three years.

Burlesque show exotic dancer Aya Yumiko who performs under the name Aya Mermaid, poses with her new stage costume including face mask which she made, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at her house in TokyoBurlesque show exotic dancer Aya Yumiko who performs under the name Aya Mermaid, stretches while she works out nearby her house, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in TokyoBurlesque show exotic dancer Aya Yumiko who performs under the name Aya Mermaid, tries on her new stage costume which she made at her house, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in TokyoBurlesque show exotic dancer Aya Yumiko who performs under the name Aya Mermaid, poses with her show props at her house amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in TokyoBurlesque show exotic dancer Aya Yumiko who performs under the name Aya Mermaid, makes her new stage costume at her house amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo

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