Japan has announced emergency measures in Tokyo and three other regions to contain rising infection rates, just three months ahead of the country’s hosting of the Olympic Games.
The state of emergency, which will last about two weeks, will be “short and powerful,” the government said.
Under the measures, bars will be required to close, and major sporting events will held without spectators.
The government insists that the Olympics held in July.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced the measures on Friday, saying they would begin Sunday and last until May 11. In addition to Tokyo, Osaka Predation, Kyoto Predation and Hyogo Predation will also affected.
It was Japan’s third state of emergency since the pandemic began.
“I sincerely apologize again for causing trouble to many people,” he says, reiterating; “There are fears that if we do nothing, the spread of big cities will spread across the country.
Under the regulations, large commercial facilities such as department stores as well as restaurants, bars and karaoke rooms that offer alcohol will closed.
Restaurants that do not serve alcoholic beverages told to close early and businesses are ask to arrange for people to work remotely. The school will remain open.
The emergency measures coincide with China’s “Golden Week” holiday, which lasts from the end of April to the first week of May, and is the busiest travel period of the year.
Yukio Koike of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government urged residents immediately start taking precautions. To deter people from going out at night, he said neon lights and signals would go out.
The number of coronavirus deaths in Japan is much lower than in many other countries, with about 558.0 cases and fewer than 10.0 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
However, there are concerns about a recent increase in infections, with reports of hospital bed shortages in some areas.
Tokyo 2020 President Taro Hashimoto said at a news conference Friday that organizers are not considering canceling the event.
“I hope that with the response of the government, the Government of Tokyo and other regions, the coronavirus situation will improve,” he said.
“As Tokyo 2020 continues to expect a rapid return to normality, and we will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure the Olympic Games are held safely,” he said.