Japan Seen Putting 3 Western Prefectures under Emergency Soon

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Tokyo, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is preparing to expand the novel coronavirus state of emergency to cover the three western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo as early as Wednesday, given rapid increases in infection cases there, government sources said Monday.

Still, the government is cautious about expanding the emergency across the nation, according to the sources.

Considering the local infection situations after the turn of the year and growing pressures on the medical care systems, the governors of the three prefectures asked the central government on Saturday to put them under the monthlong state of emergency, which came into force for the Tokyo metropolitan area on Friday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga held a meeting on Monday with Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, health minister Norihisa Tamura, industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama and economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to discuss how the government should respond to the request.

One participant in the meeting said the government should declare a state of emergency for the three prefectures at an early date.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press