Steve April 22, 2021

Source: Japan Times

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga wants to make a decision as soon as this week on whether to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and other areas, and ramp up restrictions to contain a surge in coronavirus cases just three months before the start of the delayed Olympics.

The Tokyo metropolitan government and the Kyoto and Hyogo prefectural governments separately asked the national government on Wednesday for the application of a state of emergency. Osaka Prefecture did this on Tuesday. The decision will be made on Friday, government sources said.

If adopted in all four regions from Tokyo to Kyoto, the emergency measures would cover close to a quarter of Japan’s population of 126 million. But it was the moves by the leaders of Japan’s two-biggest and economically important urban areas that have put pressure on Suga to move quickly.

“I would like to work with local governments and examine the contents of their requests, and then make a decision as soon as this week,” Suga said. In previous situations, Suga sought the advice of experts and then announced a formal announcement.

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