Japan Governors Urge State to Swiftly Issue Virus Emergency

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese prefectural governors at an online meeting on Saturday drew up a set of emergency proposals to the central government in dealing with the resurging novel coronavirus, including a request for swiftly expanding a state of emergency over the epidemic.

Following the state's fresh coronavirus emergency covering Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures, the National Governors' Association urged the central government to quickly issue a state of emergency if the virus spreads rapidly in areas outside the Tokyo metropolitan region, based on opinions of the governors of the affected prefectures.

Participating governors also asked the central government to set a certain period in the lead-up to the effectuation of such declarations, in order to inform citizens in affected areas of the measures. The association will submit the set of proposals to the central government shortly.

The governors also adopted a message urging people to refrain from traveling to and from regions under a state of emergency, in a bid to prevent an explosive spread of infections by all means. The state of emergency for Tokyo and the prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa took effect on Friday and is slated to run until Feb. 7.

In the package, the governors urged the central government to include in a planned bill to amend the special measures law on the fight against the novel coronavirus an obligation for businesses to comply with authorities' requests for shortening operating hours and the introduction of penalties on those refusing to accept such requests.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press