Japan Govt Adopts Bills to Prepare for Future Pandemics


Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting Tuesday bills aimed at better preparing for future infectious disease pandemics through the strengthening of initial responses, based on the lesson from the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis.

The bills to revise the COVID-19 special measures law and the cabinet law allow the prime minister to exercise the right to issue necessary instructions to central government agencies and prefectural governors more quickly when an infectious disease that could have a considerable impact on people's lives and economic activity occurs.

The government will also establish an infectious disease crisis management agency at the Cabinet Secretariat possibly in autumn this year. The new agency, to be headed by a deputy chief cabinet secretary, will be in charge of drawing up the government's action plans and specific measures, as well as general coordination.

The government and the ruling camp, led by the Liberal Democratic Party, aim to have the Diet, the country's parliament, enact the bills during the ongoing regular session, and put the revised laws into effect, except some provisions, within six months of promulgation.

Currently, the prime minister is allowed to exercise the right to give instructions only when a state of emergency or pre-emergency, which involves movement restrictions, is being declared.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press