Suga Ready to Mull Expanding COVID-19 Emergency


Tokyo, Jan. 8 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga indicated the government's readiness Friday to consider expanding a COVID-19 state of emergency that took effect in the greater Tokyo area on the day.

Suga was speaking to reporters at the prime minister's office about the possibility of expanding the state of emergency to cover prefectures including Osaka and Aichi, in addition to Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.

The national government "will closely cooperate with local authorities and take action after understanding local circumstances," the prime minister said.

Describing the nationwide epidemic situation as "extremely serious," Suga vowed to take "all possible measures" including the shortening of opening hours at eating and drinking establishments and the wider use of telework.

"With support from the people, we'll do whatever is needed to get through this difficult situation," he stressed.

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Jiji Press