3 Western Prefectures May Seek Virus Emergency Sat.

Politics

Osaka/Kyoto, Jan. 8 (Jiji Press)--The western Japan prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo are expected to ask the Japanese government as early as Saturday to declare a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus for them.

The Osaka and Kyoto prefectural governments decided Friday to seek such an emergency declaration following surges in new cases of novel coronavirus infection in the prefectures. The Hyogo prefectural government is seen deciding to make such a request, at a meeting of its coronavirus response headquarters later on Friday.

The central government on Thursday declared a fresh state of emergency for Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, where infection cases are resurging to put the local medical systems under pressure. The state of emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area took effect Friday and is slated to run until Feb. 7.

"We must ask the central government to declare a state of emergency for Osaka in order to protect the lives of residents and minimize damage to the local community," Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said at a meeting of the prefecture's coronavirus response headquarters, showing the prefecture's intention to seek an expansion of the Tokyo-area emergency declaration.

The Kyoto prefectural government decided to work with Osaka and Hyogo to call on the central government to consider declaring a state of emergency for the three western prefectures. Kyoto Governor Takatoshi Nishiwaki said that he is resolved to protect the prefecture's medical system.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press