Tokyo, Jan. 8 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government has started considering whether to expand its fresh state of emergency over the novel coronavirus outside the Tokyo metropolitan area, informed sources said Friday.
   The government is increasingly concerned about the domestic infection situation, with the country’s newly confirmed coronavirus infection cases hitting a record high for the fourth straight day on Friday.
   It will make a decision after examining requests by the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, as well as the infection situations in the prefectures and other regions, as well as the country’s medical capacity. The fresh emergency declaration for Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, which is based on the coronavirus special measures law, took effect Friday and is slated to remain in place until Feb. 7.
   On Friday, the prefectural governments of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto made their respective decisions to ask the central government to declare a coronavirus state of emergency based on the law, in view of rapid increases in infection cases in the prefectures. They plan to make the request together to the state on Saturday. In addition, Aichi Prefecture in central Japan is expected to study the possibility of seeking an emergency declaration.
   Referring to the need to include Osaka and Aichi in the state of emergency, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Friday that the government will make responses by working with local governments concerned and analyzing the regional infection situations.


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