Japan Declares ‘State Of Emergency’ In Tokyo, Three Other Regions After COVID-19 Cases Surge

Japan has imposed a state of emergency in the capital city Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures on Friday to stop the spread of coronavirus just three months ahead of the Olympics.

The state of emergency will come into effect from April 25 to May 11, and the government will require restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close, and big sporting events to be held without spectators, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said, Reuters reported.

“We absolutely have to limit the movement of people, and we have to do it decisively. We need powerful, short and focused measures,” he said, asking people to remember the lockdowns of last spring and stay at home.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the new restrictions after they were formally approved by a government task force.

Department stores, cinemas and other commercial facilities larger than 1,000 square metres will need to close while companies will be asked to make allowances for people to work from home. Schools will remain open.

Japan’s biggest industrial event, the Tokyo Motor Show, has also been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tokyo reported 759 new infections on Friday, down from 861 a day earlier. The country has so far recorded about 550,000 cases and 9,761 deaths, which is significantly lower than the numbers seen in other large economies.

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