Japan set to expand COVID-19 state of emergency, public cools to Olympics: Report

Asia

TOKYO: The Japanese government plans to expand a state of emergency it declared for the Tokyo area last week to seven additional prefectures on Wednesday (Jan 13) in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, public broadcaster NHK reported.

The move comes after the governors of Osaka, Hyogo, Aichi and other hard-hit prefectures requested the government issue the emergency state, which gives local authorities the legal basis to place restrictions on residents’ movements and businesses.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has been wary about taking measures that would hamper economic activity, while he has put on a brave face against the mounting challenges of hosting the delayed Olympics in Tokyo this year.

As coronavirus infections hover at record-high levels in a third wave in Japan, opinion polls have shown a public increasingly opposed to holding the summer games this year.

READ: Tokyo Games chief expects decision by March on allowing spectators

In an NHK survey published on Wednesday, just 16 per cent of respondents said the Games should go ahead this year – down 11 points from the previous poll last month – while a combined 77 per cent thought they should be cancelled or postponed.

The government is due to hold a meeting with an advisory panel on Wednesday to decide on the expanded state of emergency.

The expected addition of Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Aichi, Gifu and Tochigi prefectures to a state of emergency would cover about 55 per cent of Japan’s population.

The latest emergency declaration, however, is much narrower in scope than the first one last spring. It focuses on combating transmission in bars and restaurants, while urging people to stay home as much as possible. The emergency state is set to last through Feb 7.

Japan has seen some 298,000 coronavirus cases and 4,192 deaths so far, according to NHK.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Loading...

Articles You May Like

‘Police don’t know where Bukit Panjang Plaza?’: What it’s like taking and processing 999 calls
Biden signs ‘Buy American’ order, pledges to renew US manufacturing
Normal diets for trapped China miners as rescue continues
COVID-19 vaccine delays may slow wider Irish roll-out, says PM
Endangered Siamese crocodile in rare sighting at Thai national park

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *