Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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7 more Japan prefectures to be put under state of emergency


The government is set to decide Tuesday to declare a state of emergency in seven more prefectures and apply pre-emergency priority measures in 10 prefectures, to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Both steps will be implemented from Friday through Sept. 12. Under the new plan, large-scale commercial facilities will be asked to limit the number of people that enter, and penalties will be applied if they do not comply.

The seven prefectures are Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka, all of which are currently under priority measures. The state of emergency that is currently set to continue in Tokyo and five other prefectures until Aug. 31 will be extended through Sept. 12,

The 10 prefectures where the priority measures will be newly implemented are Miyagi, Toyama, Yamanashi, Gifu, Mie, Okayama, Hiroshima, Kagawa, Ehime and Kagoshima. The deadline for the priority measures currently being implemented in six prefectures including Hokkaido will also be extended to Sept. 12.

This would put 29 prefectures under a state of emergency or priority measures, or about 60% of all 47 prefectures.

The revised draft of the basic response policy for the pandemic includes a request for the prefectures under a state of emergency or priority measures to ask large-scale commercial facilities with a floor area of 1,000 square meters or more to control or limit their visitors. Those that do not comply will be subject to fines.

Food halls in department stores will also be asked to control the number of visitors.

Based on the outbreak of infection clusters at department stores and elsewhere, Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of COVID-19 countermeasures, said at a meeting of the government’s subcommittee on novel coronavirus, “The government’s basic line is to thoroughly control entry, and we will ask the facilities in all areas to strictly follow this policy.”

The government will also call on members of the public to reduce their shopping trips by half.

At the same time, Nishimura asked the subcommittee to consider how to ease restrictions on social and economic activities after Japan’s ongoing vaccination programs are concluded.

The daily number of new infections surpassed 20,000 last Friday for the first time, while the number of people with serious symptoms reached 1,603 on Monday, setting a record high for the fourth consecutive day.

Published : August 18, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN