Japan May Issue Virus Emergency for Tokyo Area Thurs.

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's government may declare a fresh state of emergency over the novel coronavirus as early as Thursday, for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, where infection cases continue increasing.

At his New Year's press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced his intention to make an emergency declaration over the virus for the Japanese capital and the three surrounding prefectures--Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa. The state of emergency will likely be in place for about a month.

Measures to be taken under the fresh emergency declaration will likely be less powerful compared with those implemented under the previous state of emergency, in order to limit the impacts on the economy. The previous state of emergency was issued initially for Tokyo and six other prefectures on April 7 last year and then expanded to cover all of the remaining 40 prefectures as well later that month, before being lifted in stages in the following month.

Steps to be taken to curb infections under the new declaration "will be effective if they are limited and intensive," Suga said, suggesting that eating and drinking establishments will be requested to temporarily close or shorten operating hours.

Movie and other theaters will likely be excluded from the list of facilities subject to the request, informed sources said, adding that primary and junior high schools will not close across the board. The country's unified university entrance examination will take place from Jan. 16 as scheduled, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press