Tokyo Govt May Seek 2-Week Extension of Virus Emergency

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Tokyo, March 3 (Jiji Press)--The Tokyo metropolitan government is considering asking the central government to extend for two weeks its state of emergency over the novel coronavirus, which now covers the Japanese capital and three neighboring prefectures, it was learned Wednesday.

The Tokyo government plans to coordinate policies with the three prefectures--Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa--in the hope of making the request together, sources familiar with the situation said. If the four prefectures arrive at an agreement on the joint move, their governors will hold a meeting Wednesday night at the earliest, according to the sources.

The state of emergency, issued in January, is currently slated to run until Sunday.

The central government intends to treat the four prefectures as a single area when deciding whether the state of emergency should be lifted or extended. Its official decision will be made on Friday, following a meeting of the health ministry's advisory board on the coronavirus epidemic.

The pace of drop in the number of new infection cases has been slowing in the four prefectures, with some areas showing signs of increase.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press