Photo/IllutrationPeople celebrate New Year's at Shibuya Crossing in Shibuya on Jan. 1, 2019. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Drinking alcohol will be prohibited on the streets near Shibuya Station during the New Year's Eve countdown celebration, the first in the Reiwa Era.

Shibuya Ward has conducted various events related to the countdown since three years ago as part of efforts to prevent trouble.

About 120,000 people rang in the new year at the street bash last year.

The number of visitors has nearly doubled in the past three years thanks to events featuring celebrities and showbiz personalities.

Harassment cases, such as groping incidents, have decreased, and only two people have been arrested in relation to New Year's festivities over that time.

Before then, many incidents and accidents were reported.

Four years ago, five people were arrested on suspicion of obstructing official duties.

"Active involvement has helped keep things in order," a ward official said.

The ward will prohibit people from drinking alcohol on the streets and in parks near Shibuya Station between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 5 a.m. on Jan. 1 based on the ordinance. It plans to request 45 shops, such as convenience stores, to refrain voluntarily from selling alcohol.

The ordinance was applied to this year's Halloween celebrations near the station for the first time, with positive results.

Traffic regulation will be conducted on a large scale, with roads near the station restricted to pedestrians between 9 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 2 a.m. on Jan. 1.

(This article was written by Yohei Kobayakawa and Erina Ito.)