NHK has learned that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has given up on his plan to attend a ceremony in Hiroshima City, western Japan, to mark the 1945 US atomic bombing of the city.
Sources say the decision is due to the coronavirus pandemic. Japan has banned entry by foreign nationals from the United States. Even if the UN chief were allowed to enter Japan, he would be asked to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving.
Japanese government officials increasingly share the opinion that it will be difficult to fully lift the state of emergency in early May. Medical experts say infections are not slowing as they expected.
The government declared the state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka, and five other prefectures on April 7. It expanded the declaration nationwide on April 16.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says Japan has yet to reach a point where a declaration of a state of emergency is necessary to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Abe spoke at an Upper House committee meeting on Wednesday about a recently revised law that would allow him to declare a state of emergency to fight the pandemic. He said he will decide whether to issue such a declaration by putting priority on protecting the lives and health of the public.
The governor of Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, is calling on people to avoid nightclubs and other spots that operate during nighttime hours as a precaution amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Yoshimura Hirofumi made the remarks to reporters on Tuesday saying that the virus could spread in entertainment establishments that operate from night until early morning.
Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko is urging people not to spend time in bars and other spots operating during the nighttime hours, in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
She was speaking at a news conference on Monday evening, following a recent spike in the number of the coronavirus infections in the capital.
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan is not in a situation where he needs to declare a state of emergency based on a law that came into effect on Saturday to tackle the spread of the new coronavirus.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Abe said cases in Japan are contained compared to other countries.