Abe Given Power to Declare Emergency in Coronavirus Fight
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Tokyo, March 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan's parliament enacted Friday a law amendment giving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the power to declare a state of emergency and take drastic measures in the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.
The amendment was approved by a majority vote in a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber, with support from the ruling camp as well as major opposition parties the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party).
The revised law went into effect Saturday after being promulgated Friday night. Abe will hold a news conference from 6 p.m. on Saturday (9 a.m. GMT) to explain his government's responses to the virus crisis.
The revised law, newly covering the coronavirus, allows the government to declare a state of emergency to authorize governors of the 47 prefectures to place restrictions on the private rights of citizens.
"We'd like to operate the revised law properly," economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who mainly answered questions during parliamentary debates on the amendment, told reporters Friday, showing his eagerness to exchange views with the prefectural governors and the National Governors Association "as soon as possible" in case of a state of emergency being declared.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]