Governors Assn Head Seeks Unity against Coronavirus Variants

Politics

Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--Kamon Iizumi, head of the National Governors' Association, on Thursday called for cooperation between the central and local governments in the fight against novel coronavirus variants after the lifting of the country's state of emergency.

"Once the coronavirus state of emergency is lifted, the flow of people will increase," Iizumi, governor of the western prefecture of Tokushima, said in a videoconference of the association, attended by 45 prefectural governors. "The state and local governments must work together to find ways to prevent the spread of new variant strains." The state of emergency, covering 10 of the country's 47 prefectures, is currently slated to end on June 20.

On Thursday afternoon, the governors are expected to adopt a declaration on Japan's revival in the post-coronavirus era. In the declaration, the prefectural heads will seek efforts to overcome the novel coronavirus epidemic and realize sustainable economic growth.

A draft of the declaration says that "people's livelihoods and economic activities of businesses have been severely damaged" due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis that has crippled the country for about one and a half years.

The coronavirus crisis has driven people in socially vulnerable positions, such as those with disabilities and single parents, into a more difficult situation and "caused the issues of loneliness and isolation in society to become more serious and apparent," the draft states.

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