Japan to Draw Up Coronavirus Emergency Measures Next Week

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Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that the government will draw up as early as next week emergency measures to prevent the spread of pneumonia blamed on a novel coronavirus that originated in China.

"The government will make all-out efforts (to prevent the spread of the virus) while paying sufficient attention to possible impacts on regional economies, including on tourism," Abe said, signaling his intention to use budget reserves to finance such measures.

Abe's made the remarks at a meeting with Fumio Kishida, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who visited the prime minister at his office to hand a package of proposals drawn up by the party to tackle the viral outbreak.

The package, among other things, called on the government to expand the scope of areas in China from which Japan refuses entry and support fund raising by small and midsize companies, mainly in the tourism industry.

Separately, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that five Japanese nationals are aboard the Westerdam cruise ship where an outbreak of pneumonia from the new coronavirus is suspected. We will take appropriate steps while considering their intentions and the ship's future route," Suga said on bringing home the five.

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