Kishida Hints at Easing Mask Standards

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 14 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a television program Friday referred to the possibility of the government easing its standards for people to wear face masks to prevent infection with the novel coronavirus.

While reiterating the government's plan to relax its restrictions on movement as early as in June after confirming the infection situation this month, Kishida said: "In the process, we also need to think about masks as one of issues for discussion. We will fully consider how far we can ease (the mask standards)."

It was the first time for Kishida to mention the possibility of relaxing the mask standards.

On border control measures against the virus, Kishida said, "Our major focus is when (foreign) tourists should be allowed to start coming to Japan and how many tourists should be accepted," adding, "We hope to conduct an experiment (on group tours) shortly if possible as part of preparations so that we can get ready for next month and later."

The TV program was recorded Friday evening and aired late at night. In a parliamentary committee meeting Friday morning, the prime minister said, "I'm not considering easing the mask standards."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press