Tokyo News: Minimalistic State of Emergency in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama have been put under a minimalistic State of Emergency. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated that the emergency period will last from January 8 to February 7.
However, Suga’s response to the upturn of daily new coronavirus (Covid-19) infections that began several weeks ago is extremely late. Indeed, with a new daily high in Tokyo of 2,447 and a national high of over 7,400, it highlights the slow response by the leader of Japan.
The crisis in Tokyo is impacting negatively on the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama. Today, the prefectures had a collective number of over 1,500 new infections. Hence, all three prefectures are included in the minimalistic State of Emergency.
Modern Tokyo Times recently stated, “In reality, Prime Minister Suga didn’t want to cancel the tourist campaign. Also, like the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Suga is focused on holding the postponed Olympic Games this year. Thus a muddled policy in Japan of encouraging tourism during a pandemic is followed by a late response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.”
Thus it isn’t surprising that Suga is implementing a minimalistic approach related to closing bars and restaurants by 8 pm. Similarly, people should refrain from travel by 8 pm unless deemed necessary. Therefore, these measures – and others – are minor in comparison with the first State of Emergency.
Reuters reports, “Japan, though less seriously hit by the pandemic than many places, has been unable to rein in the virus to the extent some countries in the region have, with recorded daily infections at more than 7,000 for the first time on Thursday, media reported.”
It remains to be seen if a national State of Emergency will be declared or other parts of Japan blighted by increasing infections. Of course, the government of Suga doesn’t desire stringent measures. However, the leader of Japan might be forced to change his thinking if the crisis continues to spiral.
https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.
https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis
https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics
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