Japan Govt Doubts Effectiveness of Emergency Declaration

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 3 (Jiji Press)--Although Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and the governors of three neighboring prefectures have requested an emergency declaration by the state over the coronavirus epidemic, the Japanese government remains skeptical about the effectiveness of such a declaration in containing the viral spread.

The government is rather eager to prioritize the planned revision to the special measures law for tackling the pandemic in order to enhance the effectiveness of infection prevention measures, according to informed sources.

"The government will consider the request" for an emergency declaration, economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is in charge of the government's coronavirus responses, told reporters after a meeting with the four governors on Saturday.

At the same time, the minister indicated the government's stance of carefully judging whether to make the declaration after hearing the opinions of experts at a meeting of a government subcommittee on coronavirus responses that will be held shortly.

The governors made the request for an emergency declaration as the COVID-19 outbreak in the Tokyo metropolitan area is showing no sign of abating. The declaration, based on the special measures law, will give prefectural authorities the power to take stronger measures, including issuing business suspension requests.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press