Prime Minister Abe To Declare State Of Emergency

Prime Minister Abe to declare state of emergency

Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is explaining his decision to declare a state of emergency to members of the Lower and Upper chambers of the Diet.

The coronavirus outbreak has pushed the government to issue fresh measures for Tokyo and six other prefectures.

They come as the capital and other major Japanese cities have seen a rapid spread of the coronavirus and an increase in the number of cases with untraceable infection routes.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, an advisory panel of experts gave the green light to Abe to declare a state of emergency.

Abe said, " The government has learned the rapid nationwide spread of the virus is likely to have a huge negative impact on people's livelihoods and the nation's economy./ I have decided to declare a state of emergency."

Fears are rising that the country's healthcare system could be overwhelmed.

The declaration will cover the following prefectures. Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka. It is expected to be in place for about a month.

Abe will hold a news conference Tuesday evening to explain how people's lives will change and why the country needs stricter measures.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko urged people to stay at home.

Koike said, "I would like to end this fight in the shortest possible time. I'm asking for cooperation from all citizens."

Governors in designated areas will be able to enact various independent measures on their own.

Koike said people will be allowed to go out to buy food and medicine, as well as visit hospitals when the declaration is in place. Public transportation will keep running.

Businesses will be categorized into three groups: those to close, those asked to close, and those deemed essential.

People in Osaka and Hyogo showed mixed feelings about being subject to the state of emergency.

A man in Osaka said, "Despite the spread of infection, the government has been reluctant to declare a state of emergency. I feel like it's a bit late."

A woman in the city said, "I'm a new employee, and really worried about what will happen in the future."

A man in Kobe City said, "I think a state of emergency is necessary. I would definitely like to cooperate."