DestinationsThe move will come into effect on Wednesday (8 April) and last for one month

Japan readies for ‘state of emergency’ in Tokyo, six prefectures

By
|
Japan is preparing to declare a ‘state of emergency’ in Tokyo and six prefectures for one month, which confers governors powers to call on people to stay home and close businesses.
Japan is preparing to declare a ‘state of emergency’ in Tokyo and six prefectures for one month, which confers governors powers to call on people to stay home and close businesses. Photo Credit: Getty Images

TOKYO – Japan is preparing to impose a “state of emergency” in Tokyo and six prefectures from Wednesday (8 April) to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.

Even with the declaration of a state of emergency, city-wide lockdowns cannot be enforced under Japanese law.

The move, which covers Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures, will be officially announced on Tuesday and last for one month.

It will give governors the authority to call on people to stay home and close businesses but not be as restrictive as lockdowns imposed by other countries.

This comes amid the rising numbers of virus cases especially in Tokyo, which has more 1,000 cases, including 83 new cases on Monday. In Japan, more than 3,500 people have tested positive for the virus and 85 deaths.

Even with the declaration of a state of emergency, city-wide lockdowns cannot be enforced under Japanese law.

Governors will be able to urge people to only leave home on essential errands such as grocery shopping or if they work in jobs that provide essential services like healthcare and public transport.

This also confers governors with the powers to restrict or temporarily close places with large gatherings such as schools, social welfare facilities, theatres, music venues and sports stadiums.

It will also enable governors to expropriate private land and buildings to be set up as hospitals and obtain medical supplies and food from companies or compel firms to help transport emergency goods.

Governors in Tokyo and elsewhere have asked citizens to stay home on weekends, avoid crowds and evening outings, and work from home.

A key factor in the surge of infections is believed to due to imported cases from abroad. This has prompted the government to ban foreign visitors who have recently travelled to one or more of 73 countries and regions from entering the country.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI