Japan to Implement State of Emergency in Four Prefectures

The Japanese government will implement a state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto prefectures this weekend as new cases increase.

The state of emergency will be declared in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto prefectures between April 25 and May 11 which includes the Golden Day holidays. 

“We have decided to take stricter measures ahead of the week-long spring holiday to contain the spread of the virus,” said  Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi.

Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol including karaoke parlors would be forced to close in the four prefectures while transport operations would be reduced. 

The public will be asked to work from home but schools would remain open along with supermarkets. 

Osaka Prefecture is the area of most concern where more than 1,000 cases were recorded for four days in a row.

In Tokyo,  861 new cases were reported on Thursday, the highest daily count since the second state of emergency in the prefecture. 

There are 5,280 cases that were reported nationwide on Thursday, while concerns about new faster-spreading variants were raised as the Tokyo Olympics neared opening. 

“We’re worried about the potential for rapid spread. If we’re to avoid stronger measures than we’ve used until now, we have to get these highly infectious variants under control,” said Nishimura. 

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