All About Japan

Japan Considers State of Emergency for Tokyo

Health Life in Japan Stay Home Tokyo Greater Tokyo Chiba Kanagawa Saitama Kanto

Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is considering declaring a state of emergency over the coronavirus in the greater Tokyo area, and three neighboring prefectures.

He made the remarks at his first press conference in the New Year on January 4. The move comes as the number of COVID-19 patients in Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures accounts for about half of the nationwide total.

"Considering this severe situation, the government will reinforce anti-coronavirus measures. We will focus on four areas; preventing the spread of infections, preventing the virus from entering Japan, securing the medical system and expediting vaccination." remarked Suga.

He said he asked the four prefectures to have restaurants shorten business hours to end at 8 p.m., two hours earlier than in the current request.

"The government will consider declaring a state of emergency. We will compile details, making sure we will have effective measures to decrease infection risks related to eating and drinking."

The Japanese leader also talked about prospects for coronavirus vaccines in the country.

"We will move forth with examining the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and are preparing to enable vaccinations to start by late February."

The government is expected to determine whether to declare a state of emergency this week.