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Japan Proclaims Fresh COVID State of Emergency


Japan Proclaims Fresh COVID State of Emergency

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Merely three months away from the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed several times, Japan is now compelled to announce another state of emergency as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, marking the third such state since the onset of the pandemic last year. In the words of the Japanese authorities, this state of emergency will be described as “brief and forceful” and will impact multiple significant prefectures like Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto.

“We must strictly limit people’s movements. We need robust, concise, and targeted actions,” stated Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

Among various constraints, eateries, pubs, and karaoke establishments will be obligated to close temporarily, with the same rules applying to shopping centers, cinemas, and other major commercial venues. While sporting events scheduled between April 25 and May 11 can proceed, they are not permitted to host audiences in the stands. Violators of these measures will face severe penalties.

“Not imposing any measures raises concerns that the spread of infection in major cities could extend nationwide,” remarked Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

This fresh state of emergency has placed significant uncertainty on the Tokyo Olympics. Nonetheless, Suga and other Japanese legislators have affirmed that steps will be taken to ensure the games proceed as planned. As previously indicated, foreign spectators are unlikely to be permitted at the games. With this condition, combined with the fact that this new emergency will span a considerable portion of Japan’s Golden Week holidays, the local tourism sector faces a considerable blow.

“We at Tokyo 2020 continue to hope for a swift return to normalcy and will cooperate closely with relevant parties to ensure the Olympics take place safely and securely,” stated Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto during a press briefing.

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