Tokyo used to have one of the best nightclub scenes in the world, but all that has changed dramatically ever since the local police started enforcing a very old law that had been ignored for at least half a century. According to this law, commercial establishments cannot host dance parties unless they have a valid license.
In order to obtain such a license, venues must have at least 66 square meters of unobstructed floor space for dancing. They also need to make sure that all dancing stops at 1 am, which the law says is the curfew. Failure to comply with the rules could get club owners into serious trouble, including getting thrown in jail for weeks, or having their businesses closed down.
“Dancing is not a crime,” pointed out Ryo Isobe, a music writer from Tokyo. “But the current situation can easily make people believe that dancing is a crime. Under this law, there are almost no legal nightclubs in Japan. All-night dance parties are against the law.”