Concerns Growing over Coronavirus Departures from Tokyo

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 13 (Jiji Press)--There are growing concerns that people fleeing Tokyo, which is under a state of emergency over the new coronavirus, could lead to an increase in coronavirus cases elsewhere in Japan, including holiday cottage areas.

"Corona sokai," or evacuation due to the COVID-19 virus, and "Tokyo dasshutsu," or escape from Tokyo, became online buzz terms around the time when the emergency was declared by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last Tuesday for Tokyo and six other prefectures.

Linked to such moves, a woman under 20 was found positive for the coronavirus earlier this month after traveling from Tokyo to her parents' home in the northeastern prefecture of Akita. Her mother, an assistant nurse, was also confirmed to have the virus.

A spate of similar cases has been seen across the country. In the southwestern prefecture of Saga, a woman in her 30s who lives in Tokyo was confirmed positive for the virus while staying at her family's home. Her mother and grandmother have also contracted the virus.

Alarmed by moves to evacuate from Tokyo, Seiji Yanagida, mayor of Saku in the central prefecture of Nagano, said on Twitter, "You may hope to stay in Nagano, where the situation is relatively calm, instead of the epidemic-hit greater Tokyo area. But I want you to reconsider the reason for requests (by authorities) to refrain (from leaving the metropolitan area)."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press