Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a monthlong state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures: Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, which border the capital, Osaka and neighboring Hyogo in the west, and Fukuoka in the south-west.
In fact is a request to stay at home, not an order at this time. Violators will not be penalized. However, the authorities will do more for social distancing. Abe urged everyone to cut contacts with others by 70-80% for one month, calling the coronavirus pandemic “the biggest postwar crisis.” “We are not at a stage where rapid nationwide spread is being observed, but some areas are under pressure, so we don’t have the luxury of time,” he said.
By Tuesday there were 1,196 confirmed cases in the metropolitan region and Japan reported 91 deaths from COVID-19. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike welcomed the emergency measures. The public and medical experts have increasingly supported taking more drastic action. The state of emergency in Japan also includes guidance to schools on temporary closures and requests to close nonessential businesses and stores and to cancel or postpone events and exhibits.The government announced a 108 trillion yen ($1 trillion) stimulus package to help the country to survive the economic downturn.