Tokyo Area in Crucial Stage to Contain COVID-19: PM Suga

Politics

Tokyo, March 4 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo and three nearby prefectures are in a "crucial stage" to contain COVID-19 infections, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Thursday, as the government plans to extend its ongoing state of emergency over the pandemic in the metropolitan area.

At a House of Councillors Budget Committee meeting, Suga reiterated the view that it is necessary to extend the state of emergency, currently set to expire on Sunday, for around two weeks. Suga was responding to a question from Masayuki Tokushige of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Tokushige cited calls mainly from the restaurant and tourism industries for lifting the state of emergency as soon as possible. Suga said, "We will make the final decision after listening fully to the opinions of related experts and concerned parties."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a press conference on the day that a possible two-week extension of the state of emergency is not linked to the start of the Tokyo Olympics torch relay on March 25.

"The torch relay or the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are not factored into discussions on the state of emergency at all," Kato stressed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press