Japan Expands State of Emergency Nationwide over Coronavirus

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 16 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government Thursday expanded its state of emergency declaration over the novel coronavirus to the whole country to prevent an explosive rise of infections.

The declaration will be in place until May 6. It covered seven prefectures--Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka when it was first issued on April 7.

The expansion is aimed at "minimizing the movement of people during the Golden Week," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, referring to the country's holiday period between late April and early May.

At a meeting of the government's coronavirus response headquarters, Abe pointed out that the virus is spreading rapidly in the country due to the movement of people, particularly in Hokkaido as well as Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Gifu, Aichi and Kyoto prefectures.

"We'll reduce contact between people by at least 70 pct and as much as 80 pct by any means," Abe said, calling for people to avoid nonessential trips. He also asked prefectural governors to restrict entry to tourism facilities.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press