A state of emergency in the Japanese capital Tokyo and the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo may be declared on Friday by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. On April 23, Kyodo reports.
It is clarified that the reason for the introduction of this measure is the intention to contain the surge in the spread of coronavirus infection during the upcoming Golden Week holidays.
According to expectations, from April 24 to May 11, tough measures will be applied in the listed territories, including requirements for the temporary closure of alcoholic establishments and large commercial facilities: shopping centers, department stores, with the exception of retail outlets for the sale of basic necessities. According to the government’s plan, citizens will be banned from attending large-scale events, and the number of buses on weekends and holidays will be reduced.
Golden Week in Japan is considered to be one of the busiest times of the year in terms of travel. The situation is aggravated by the strong occupancy of hospitals: for example, in Osaka, at the moment, the beds in the coronavirus hospital are fully occupied.
It is noted that the state of emergency, which affected a quarter of the total population of Japan and a third of the country’s economy, continues to operate despite the short time period before the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, Japan, in comparison with other countries, significantly lagged behind in the process of vaccination of the population: out of 126 million inhabitants, only 1% received a dose of vaccinations against infection. At a meeting of the working group, Yoshihide Suga must make the final decision on the situation with COVID-19.
On Wednesday, April 21, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga canceled scheduled visits to India in the Philippines, sources told Kyodo news agency. According to the publication, the decision to cancel the visits of the Prime Minister is likely due to the deterioration of the situation with the spread of the incidence of coronavirus in Japan.