The Japanese government has considered declaring a state of emergency in Osaka and Tokyo as COVID-19 cases rise.
Osaka recorded 1,242 new cases on Wednesday while Tokyo recorded over 500 new infections for several consecutive days.
Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura was the first to submit a formal request for the state of emergency declaration but did not give a date.
“We want large-scale events to be suspended and facilities closed to stop people from gathering. We are asking the government to allow us to take more stringent measures,” said Yoshimura.
Governor Yuriko Koike of Tokyo requested to set the state of emergency period from April 29 to May 9 during the Golden Week holidays despite already imposing a quasi-state of emergency last April 12.
Koike has already met with local officials to discuss issuing a formal request to the central government to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said the central government will work closely with local officials to determine whether to declare states of emergency in the two prefectures.
“We want to take a close look at their requests and make a decision by the end of the week,” said Suga.
Hyogo and Kyoto have also reportedly considered declaring a state of emergency but have not yet submitted formal requests.