“I believe that an extension of about two weeks is necessary to protect the lives and livelihoods of the people. I would like to make a final decision after listening to the opinions of experts and people concerned,” Suga said to reporters at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The state of emergency for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba prefectures is currently scheduled to last through Sunday. The government will listen to the opinions of the expert panel of the basic policy measures on Friday and then is expected to make a final decision on a two-week extension.
Asked what criteria are necessary to lift the state of emergency, Suga said, “It is important for the hospital bed utilization rate to be below 50% and the vector to go down.”
On Tuesday, Suga said, “Tokyo and the three prefectures are connected in various ways,” emphasizing that the judgment about the lifting of the state of emergency will be made with Tokyo and the three prefectures considered as one integrated area.
The governors of Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures have been coordinating to jointly ask the central government to extend the period of the state of emergency, according to sources.
The governors plan to ask for an extension of another two weeks.
Concerning the declaration of the state of emergency, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said Tuesday that the decrease in infections “has not caught up with the expected number.” She expressed a cautious stance regarding the lifting of the state of emergency on the scheduled date.
Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa said: “Looking at the whole of Tokyo and the three prefectures, some data were at Stage 4 levels. We may be unable to make the judgment until after watching the numbers up to the last minute.”
Published : March 04, 2021
By : The Japan News/ANN