Abe Sees No Immediate Need for Virus Emergency Declaration


Tokyo, April 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday that current circumstances with the spread of the new coronavirus do not warrant a declaration of a state of emergency.

"At this point, we are not in a situation to make" an emergency declaration, Abe said during a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting.

The comment came in response to a question by lawmaker Tadatomo Yoshida of the opposition Social Democratic Party on whether the prime minister plans to make an emergency declaration, allowed under a recently revised special measures law designed to boost efforts to contain the virus.

"(Such a declaration) does have the power to limit private rights, but it does not mean that the prime minister or the state is given great authority," Abe said.

On the possibility of a lockdown in major cities such as Tokyo, Abe said, "We may make many requests, but (the situation) will have different characteristics from those done in countries like France." He thus suggested that such lockdown orders will not have binding force.

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