Fresh Virus Emergency Decided for Tokyo, 3 Western Prefectures

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 23 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government on Friday decided to issue a fresh state of emergency over the new coronavirus for Tokyo and the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, where the resurgence of the virus continues.

The emergency, based on the special measures law for the fight against the coronavirus, will run for 17 days, from Sunday to May 11, including the Golden Week holiday period between later this month and early May. The decision was made at a meeting of the government's coronavirus response headquarters, chaired by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

It will be the third novel coronavirus state of emergency in Japan. The first and the second emergency declarations were made in April last year and January this year, respectively.

The focal point will be whether and by how much the relatively short emergency can curb the spread of highly infectious mutant strains of the coronavirus. The emergency might be extended, due to concerns over another wave of infections hitting the designated prefectures and other areas after its lifting, sources familiar with the situation said.

"If we stand idle, the spike in infection cases in major cities will spread across the nation," Suga told a press conference after the headquarters meeting. He apologized for causing inconvenience again for people due to the third state of emergency. "By taking advantage of the Golden Week, we aim to contain the coronavirus through intensive countermeasures over a short term," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press