Japan to Keep Close Watch on XE Subvariant: Top Govt Spokesman

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, April 12 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will keep a close watch on the XE subvariant of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Tuesday.

The top government spokesman made the remark at a press conference after the new omicron subvariant was detected in Japan for the first time recently through airport quarantine. The XE subvariant was found in a passenger who arrived at Narita International Airport, near Tokyo, on a flight from the United States late last month.

"We will keep a close watch on the new omicron subvariant while gathering information on scientific findings about it and on the situations in other countries," Matsuno said. "We will make an appropriate decision on border measures based on responses by other major nations and the level of demand for returning home among Japanese expatriates," he added.

Matsuno also said that the government will send a team of four liaison officials to the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa, where new COVID-19 cases continue rising. The number of new infection cases per population of 100,000 is highest in Okinawa among Japan's 47 prefectures.

"The team will contact the prime minister's office and ministries concerned through hotlines," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press