Tokyo does not consider requesting a statement, but consults with experts in the future
The Japanese government on Friday declared a near-state of emergency in Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures in light of the rise in the number of new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID- 19) in these prefectures. The quasi-state of emergency will come into effect from Sunday to January 31.
The country as a whole reported 6,214 new cases on Friday, with Okinawa registering 1,414 – the first time the prefecture recorded more than 1,000 new cases in a single day. Yamaguchi reported 180 new cases, while Hiroshima reported a record 429 on Thursday and Tokyo reported 922 on Friday. Until this week, the country had not reported more than 4,000 new cases in a day since September 18, 2021, and had not reported more than 6,000 new cases since September 15. The number of new cases has doubled every one to two days this week in Okinawa. , Tokyo and other prefectures. Japanese Medical Association President Toshio Nakagawa said Thursday: “I think we have entered the sixth wave across the country.”
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday that the metropolis is not currently considering asking the national government for its own near-state of emergency. However, she added on Friday that the battle against COVID-19 has entered a new phase and that she is consulting with experts on whether to implement more countermeasures as the situation evolves.
The new cases in Okinawa were primarily focused on a cluster that began last month at the United States Marine Corps’ Camp Hansen base. The United States Marine Corps Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi has also reported a cluster of new infections.
Previous quasi-states of emergency, which have less stringent guidelines than a full state of emergency, have asked food and beverage establishments to stop selling alcohol, limit their hours, and limit the number of customers. They also offered financial compensation to companies that comply with the guidelines and imposed additional anti-virus measures.
Japan only ended the state of emergency in 19 prefectures recently in September last year. This state of emergency began in July (although Okinawa had already been in a state of emergency for four months).