Shut restaurants means boom for secondhand seller

A warehouse piled high with kitchenware near Tokyo is a graveyard showing the toll the global health crisis took on the city's restaurants in 2020.

Stacks of old sinks, fridges, pots, pans and chairs, are all being refurbished and sold on by Tenpos Busters - a secondhand kitchen supplier.

For them it has been a bumper year, Takahito Tooyama, the firm's sales director, says they've bought double the amount of goods.

"In normal years, our warehouse doesn't get full or overflow with products. But because of the rising number of businesses or restaurants closing due to the coronavirus, our warehouse is overflowing."

Between February and mid-December this year, around 126 restaurants and bars have gone bust in Japan.

One of those forced to close was the ramen noodle shop Shirohachi in Tokyo's business district.

Yashiro Haga it's owner got 165 dollars selling his old kitchenware to Tenpos Busters.

"I've been slowly cleaning the shop by myself everyday" he says. "Now that my stuff are gone and the shop is bare empty, it makes me sad."

Yashiro's premises is small so social distancing and profits proved incompatible.

Combine that with people being encouraged to work from home, and his business of 15 years became unfeasible.