Govt to Extend Tokyo Area Emergency until March 21


Tokyo, March 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is poised to decide Friday to extend again its coronavirus state of emergency, now covering Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, for two weeks until March 21.

The decision will be made at a meeting Friday night of the government's coronavirus response headquarters, headed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The meeting will start at 8 p.m. (11 a.m. GMT). The state of emergency for Tokyo and the prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa is currently slated to run until Sunday.

After the meeting, Suga will hold a news conference from 9 p.m. to explain coronavirus countermeasures, such as keeping in place the request for eating and drinking establishments to shorten business hours, and seek local residents' cooperation with the measures.

"I'm sorry that the virus emergency will be extended again although the public and businesses have cooperated (to reduce infections)," Suga told Friday's meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

Underscoring his determination to contain the virus crisis, Suga said, "The government is responsible for dealing with the situation with the hope that it will no longer need to ask the public to limit activities," he added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press