Japan Eyes Enhancing Pref. Governors' Authority in COVID Fight

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will consider a law revision to strengthen prefectural governors' authority in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic, economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura has indicated.

At a press conference on Monday night, Nishimura pointed to the need to allow prefectural governors to take strong measures even before a state of emergency over the epidemic is declared.

"We aim to enable compulsory measures, if necessary," Nishimura said, adding that the government is looking to submit a bill to revise the special law for the epidemic fight during an ordinary parliamentary session starting in January.

The press conference was also attended by Shigeru Omi, chair of a government panel on the epidemic, who expressed a strong sense of crisis over the ongoing spread of infections in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Omi pointed out that slowing infections in the metropolitan area is key to containing the epidemic elsewhere in the country. He called on people again to follow infection prevention measures, such as avoiding eating and drinking in large groups.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press