Koike Wants Disclosure of Firms Refusing to Shut amid Epidemic

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 22 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Wednesday called for the application of a stronger special law clause to enable the disclosure of the names of businesses failing to accept requests by the metropolitan government and authorities of other Japanese prefectures for temporary closures amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

The existing business suspension requests by local governments are based on the special law's Article 24, which allows them to only ask business operators for "necessary cooperation" in the fight against the coronavirus.

At a meeting with Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on the day, Koike sought to use the law's more powerful Article 45, which enables authorities to urge businesses to restrict or stop the use of their facilities and to unveil the names of businesses that do not follow the requests for suspending operations.

The Tokyo governor made the plea to the minister as some businesses in the Japanese capital and other places, such as pachinko pinball parlors, remain open despite the temporary closure requests.

The special law, which was enacted in 2012 for the original purpose of combating new influenza, was amended last month to cover the novel coronavirus as well. Based on the revised law, the central government declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic on April 7 for Tokyo and six other prefectures with spikes in infection cases, and expanded it to cover the entire nation last week.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press