Stronger Authority for Pref. Governors Sought in COVID Fight


Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--Four Japanese opposition parties jointly submitted a bill to the House of Representatives on Wednesday to strengthen the authority of prefectural governors in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.

The bill, designed to revise the special law on measures against the epidemic, calls for allowing prefectural governors to request the central government to issue, remove or extend a state of emergency over the epidemic.

It also seeks to have the central government fully or partially shoulder the cost of benefit payments by prefectural governors to individuals and organizations complying with requests, including to suspend businesses and restrict facility use.

The administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, however, appears negative about the law revision, taking the stance of putting first measures to tackle the epidemic.

“The government has been slow” to respond to the epidemic, Masato Imai of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, one of the four opposition parties, told reporters after the bill was submitted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press