Japan Govt Adopts Bills to Enforce COVID-19 Measures

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government adopted a special coronavirus law amendment and bills to revise two other laws at a cabinet meeting Friday to make coronavirus countermeasures enforceable, partly through the introduction of punishments.

By enacting the bills, the government aims to impose administrative fines on businesses that do not comply with authorities' requests to suspend or shorten operations, as well as criminal penalties on COVID-19 patients who refuse to get hospitalized.

Also under the revised laws, the central and local governments will gain a certain degree of enforcement for requests to medical institutions to accept coronavirus patients.

The government hopes to have the bills enacted by the Diet, Japan's parliament, in early February, aiming to put the legislation into force by the end of the month. Measures spelled out in the bills may be implemented soon after the enactment if the infection situation deteriorates.

The government and the ruling coalition will shortly enter negotiations with the opposition camp over whether to make changes to the bills, with the extent of punishments likely to be at the center of their discussions.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press