State of Emergency in Japan to include Osaka, Tokyo, and five more prefectures
Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will declare a state of emergency after a recent spate of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. Abe, extremely concerned about the economic angle, finally relented to growing pressure. Hence, the coronavirus crisis in Japan is reaching a new phase based on recent figures.
The natural interconnection between Tokyo and the prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama means that all are covered by the state of emergency. Similarly, the economic powerhouse of Osaka and the natural linkage with Hyogo are covered. Fukuoka is also included in the state of emergency.
Abe stipulated, “This state of emergency declaration is to ensure the medical care system stays intact and to ask for even more cooperation from the public to avoid contact with each other to reduce infection as much as possible.”
He continued, “In Japan, even if we declare a state of emergency, we will not close cities as seen in foreign countries. Experts have told us that there is no need for such a step.”
Initially, the new state of emergency will last for one month. However, given the chaotic nature of the coronavirus crisis then much depends on events over the next few weeks. After all, the death toll in Japan from coronavirus is currently low in comparison with parts of Europe, America, and Ecuador.
Coronavirus entered Japan in the middle of January but it took until the first week of April before events were deemed more severe. Thus, with deaths around 100, it is strange how the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics parallels with the recent upturn in announced cases. This applies to political elites refraining from testing to any great extent, unlike nations including South Korea.
The BBC reports, “Both the German and US governments have been highly critical of Japan’s failure to enforce social distancing measures, or to do widespread testing for Covid-19.”
The lockdown will not replicate the situation in Europe. In other words, no fines like in France or the police getting heavily involved like in the United Kingdom. Therefore, it depends on social responsibility, requests from respective governors covered by the state of emergency, and abiding by infection measures.
In another article by Modern Tokyo Times, it was stated, “Suddenly, like a coronavirus magnet to the Olympic postponement, the number of increased cases of this virus has been announced after a two-month hiatus. In other words, it seems that dampening the coronavirus reality was released after the Olympic postponement. Hence, many people in Japan must be confused by events because the pattern is certainly different than the vast majority of other nations.”
Overall, it remains to be seen how the coronavirus crisis will emerge in Japan. After all, the first recorded case of coronavirus goes back to the middle of January and since then very few deaths. Hence, it is baffling how stringent measures are finally being taken by the end of the first week of April. However, something must be a miss based on the recent increase of reported cases and the sudden emergency being taken by political elites.
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