The Daily Manila Shimbun


Abe to Decide Monday on Coronavirus Emergency Extension

May 3, 2020

Tokyo- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his government will make a decision Monday on an extension of its coronavirus state of emergency.

Abe told reporters that he instructed economic and fiscal policy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to extend the emergency for about one month.

The state of emergency is expected to be extended for all of the country's 47 prefectures, sources familiar with the matter said.

The prime minister made the instruction after a panel of experts called for keeping coronavirus-related social restrictions in place. He said he plans to hold a news conference on Monday.

The government declared the emergency on April 7 for Tokyo and six other prefectures and expanded it to cover the entire country nine days later. It is currently set to expire on Wednesday, when the Golden Week holidays end.

In addition, the government is considering changing the list of prefectures designated for intensive coronavirus containment measures. The current list has 13 prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Ishikawa, Aichi, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

Prefectures where new infection cases are increasing are expected to be added to the list, the sources said.

The government is currently concerned about the situations in Okinawa, Gunma, Fukui, Hiroshima and some other prefectures.

Gifu and Ibaraki prefectures may be excluded from the list, as new infection cases have been declining there, the sources said.

The expert panel called for region-to-region differences on coronavirus containment measures.

Based on the suggestion, the government is expected to urge thorough behavior changes in prefectures designated for intensive containment measures, while calling for relatively moderate countermeasures in others. Jiji Press