Japan Seen Extending Coronavirus State of Emergency

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 5 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering extending its third state of emergency over the novel coronavirus, which covers Tokyo and three western prefectures, beyond the currently planned expiration on Tuesday, it has been learned.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is slated to hold talks on the issue Wednesday with relevant ministers, including economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who leads the government's response to the virus crisis.

The government is expected to decide the extension on Friday while monitoring the infection situations in the Japanese capital and the three western prefectures--Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo--and examining the effects of measures being taken under the state of emergency, informed sources said.

The government is also considering designating more areas for a pre-emergency stage, in which coronavirus countermeasures almost on par with those under a state of emergency are implemented.

The northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka are major candidates for the expected addition to the list of pre-emergency areas, according to the sources. The eastern prefecture of Ibaraki, the central prefectures of Gifu and Mie, and Tokushima Prefecture in western Japan are also asking the central government for their designation for pre-emergency status.

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