Japan to Put Hokkaido, Okayama, Hiroshima under Emergency

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 14 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is set to place Hokkaido as well as Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures under a novel coronavirus state of emergency from Sunday through May 31, it was learned Friday.

The plan was presented and approved at a meeting of advisors on the government's basic policy for its response to the COVID-19 crisis on Friday morning.

The government had planned not to declare a state of emergency for the three prefectures, but it reversed course after facing a chorus of calls for emergency response from experts at the meeting.

The number of prefectures covered by the state of emergency, the third of its kind in Japan, will increase to nine. Currently, the emergency covers Tokyo as well as Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures, where the status is scheduled to run through May 31.

The government had initially considered keeping Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, in the coronavirus pre-emergency stage, which allows local authorities to take priority steps similar to those under the emergency, and additionally putting Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures, both western Japan, in the stage.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press