A restaurant inTokyohas announced that it will refuse to serve couples on Christmas Eve because their happiness would serve to remind single members of staff of their loneliness.
The owner of PiaPia, a pasta restaurant in theHachiojisuburb of westTokyo, has placed a handwritten sign in the window of the restaurant that reads, "We will be refusing entry to all couples on December 24, with no exceptions!"
The message is accompanied by an outline of a male figure in blue and a female figure in red and a heart with a large red cross through the image.
The message suggests that the presence of couples would upset employees having to work on Christmas Eve, stating that romantic duos "would cause severe emotional trauma to members of our staff".
Takashi Kyozuka, an employee of PiaPia, said that the sign was put in the window because singles would "feel sad that they are by themselves".
"To start with, someone said we should ban couples as a bit of a joke, but then we realized that it's true," he said. "If you are single on Christmas Eve, then it's easy to get down."
Christmas is not celebrated in Japan and is a regular working day ahead of the traditional celebrations centered on the New Year. In recent years, however, Christmas Eve has become an important occasion for young couples to exchange gifts and have a meal together, even if they are largely unaware of the religious significance of the holiday.