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Governors push for state of emergency in greater Tokyo

Governors push for state of emergency in greater Tokyo”

Koike, along with the governors of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures, met with Yasutoshi Nishimura, the state minister in charge of economic revitalization who is handling the government's response to the health crisis, to make their request.

Ginza district in Tokyo on 2 January, 2021.

He asked the governors to request that restaurants close at 8 p.m. and stop serving alcoholic beverages before 7 p.m.

Even under such circumstances, the government is still ambivalent about declaring a state of emergency, believing that strongly requesting restaurants and other establishments to suspend their operations or shorten their business hours would be more effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19.

If the state makes the declaration by accepting the request from the prefectural governors, the public may perceive that the Suga government is admitting to failure with its coronavirus measures.

The Japanese capital on Thursday saw a record 1,337 new COVID-19 cases, surpassing the 1,000-mark for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, while the three other prefectures have also logged record numbers of daily cases recently.

More news: Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino appointed Paris St Germain manager

Japan's stance against declaring another state of emergency appears to be shifting, as coronavirus infections fuelled by the onset of cold weather showed no signs of abating even after the country stepped up containment measures.

There was no immediate word on whether the governors would seek school closures.

The Japanese Prime Minister also pledged to push forward with preparations for this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. On the same day, 3,059 new cases were reported by local authorities nationwide. The government hopes to have the revised law enacted by the end of this month.

But Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has so far resisted calls to reinstate a national state of emergency. "The government should take the situation seriously and consider whether it is necessary to issue a state of emergency at this time".

The rise in COVID-19 cases is compounding a seasonal increase in hospitalisations, said Fumie Sakamoto, infection control manager at St Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo.



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