Japan to Record Coronavirus Crisis as Historic Emergency

Politics

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan on Tuesday designated the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus as a state of historic emergency under the government's guidelines on public records management, requiring it to create records of related meetings within three months in principle.

Regulatory reform minister Seigo Kitamura made the designation after obtaining consent at a cabinet meeting on the day. It is the first time that the designation of a state of historic emergency has been made based on the guidelines.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government is holding meetings of its relevant headquarters comprising all cabinet ministers to make decisions on the handling of the crisis. Also, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and senior officials from ministries and agencies concerned have been holding liaison meetings almost every day since Jan. 26.

Following the designation, the government will likely be required to create minutes of meetings of the headquarters, which will include the dates and times, and the venues of the meetings, the names of participants, topics discussed, the speakers and what they said, because the task force involves policy making.

Meanwhile, the content of records on the liaison meetings and other sessions that do not involve policy making may be limited.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press