PM Kishida mulls quasi-emergency concerning Covid-19 in 3 prefectures

PM Kishida mulls quasi-emergency concerning Covid-19 in 3 prefectures

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is mulling a quasi-emergency concerning the coronavirus (Covid-19) in three prefectures. Other prefectures are likely to follow if current daily coronavirus infections keep on increasing.

The three prefectures of immediate concern are Hiroshima, Okinawa, and Yamaguchi. Okinawa is of special concern because the numbers are growing quickly. All three prefectures are pointing the finger at American military bases for the latest flare-up of daily infections.

The Omicron coronavirus variant is highly transmissible. Hence, many nations have witnessed a rapid rise in daily infections. Therefore, a quasi-emergency – or future State of Emergency – seems most likely given past policies in Japan.

NHK reports, “The Okinawa governor will ask the central government to approve quasi-emergency measures. This would allow officials to impose targeted rules before the medical system reaches a state of crisis.”

The Mayor of Iwakuni City in Yamaguchi blames the lack of safety measures by a US military base for the latest bout of daily infections. Similar blame is being stated in Hiroshima and Okinawa.

Reuters reports, “Earlier, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken for restrictions on U.S. service members from leaving their bases, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters.”

Kishida said, “I’ve instructed the foreign minister to take advantage of the two-plus-two meeting and to firmly ask the U.S. side to take strict (anti-infection) measures swiftly.”

Past major outbreaks have occurred because of a plethora of factors. From the highest coronavirus surge during the Olympic timeframe last year to nightlife in major cities. Therefore, any weakness in the system quickly spreads throughout the wider society.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220106_18/

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-asks-us-take-covid-19-counter-measures-military-bases-kyodo-2022-01-06/

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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