Not in Situation to Decide Whether to End Emergency: Suga

Politics

Tokyo, March 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga suggested Monday that it is not the time yet to decide whether to lift the government’s second state of emergency over the novel coronavirus epidemic, in place for the greater Tokyo area.

“We’ll make a decision while hearing experts’ opinions,” Suga told a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament. “We’re still not in a situation where we can say whether we should extend the emergency (or lift it),” he said, in response to a question from Tetsuro Fukuyama of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

The state of emergency for Tokyo and neighboring Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures is set to run until Sunday.

The government is expected to make a decision on the matter by holding meetings of its COVID-19 advisory panel of experts and its coronavirus response headquarters as early as Thursday.

Shigeru Omi, head of a government task force on the epidemic, told the Upper House Budget Committee meeting that the government “should refrain from making a decision (on whether to lift or extend the virus emergency) without carrying out a thorough examination” on why new infection cases in the metropolitan area have stopped decreasing and started increasing slightly.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press