Japan to Reconsider Easing of Event Restrictions: Nishimura

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, July 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Saturday indicated the government's intention to reconsider its plan to further ease its coronavirus-linked restrictions on the number of spectators in large-scale events from Aug. 1.

"Basically, we need to think about it cautiously," Nishimura, who is in charge of government measures to deal with the novel coronavirus epidemic, told a press conference. The issue will be discussed by a government panel of experts shortly.

The government started to ease the restrictions in late May. Currently, up to 5,000 spectators are allowed for both indoor and outdoor events, such as sports matches and concerts. The government plans to end the uniform rule in August while limiting the number of visitors at or below 50 pct of capacity for indoor events.

"I'm very alarmed," Nishimura said, referring to a recent spike in new coronavirus cases in Tokyo.

"If the audience cap of 5,000 is removed, events with 10,000 to 20,000 spectators could be held, creating massive flows of people," Nishimura said, expressing concerns that the easing of the restrictions will help increase coronavirus infections.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press