Tokyo-Area Virus Emergency to Last until Feb. 7

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will decide on a fresh state of emergency over the coronavirus for the Tokyo metropolitan area on Thursday, planning to put it into place from Friday through Feb. 7.

The state of emergency will cover Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa. New infection cases are increasing notably in the four prefectures.

The government is considering increasing aid to eating and drinking establishments that accept requests from the governors of the prefectures for shorter operating hours to up to 60,000 yen per day from a maximum of 40,000 yen at present, informed sources said.

Although experts are calling on the government to keep the emergency declaration in place for one month or longer, the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is concerned about negative economic effects from a prolonged state of emergency. "We're going to see first how the state of emergency will work for one month" while watching the effects of intensive measures that will be taken to curb infections, a senior government official said.

The government is expected to lift the virus emergency once the infection situation returns to a situation equivalent to Stage 3, the second-worst level on the four-tier scale gauging the degree of the spread of the virus.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press