Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday the government would liaise with other prefectures and check whether the coronavirus state of emergency over the coronavirus for the greater Tokyo region should be extended to those areas.
Osaka Prefecture is considering asking the central government to add it and two neighboring prefectures — Kyoto and Hyogo — to the emergency declaration. The Osaka Prefectural Government is eyeing the move as the daily number of new COVID-19 cases continue to soar to fresh highs.
Aichi Prefecture is also considering the possibility of asking to be added to the state of emergency as infections there surge.
Thursday’s emergency declaration, which will be effective from Friday to Feb. 7, entails asking people to stay home and calls for restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. and close by 8 p.m. Gyms, department stores and movie theaters will also be subject to the shorter hours.
“I think we should ask the central government to issue a state of emergency for Osaka,” Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters at the prefectural office on Thursday. Osaka is expected to make such a request Saturday at the earliest, together with Kyoto and Hyogo, sources said.
Kyoto Gov. Takatoshi Nishiwaki and Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido have expressed their support for the idea.
“We are in a stage where we should study the option of asking for the declaration of a state of emergency,” Nishiwaki said.
“We have to consider making such a request,” Ido said.
At a news conference on Thursday, Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura said that he will closely monitor the situation during the three-day weekend through Monday, with an eye toward seeking a state of emergency for his prefecture.
Elsewhere, Miyazaki Prefecture confirmed a record 105 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. The prefectural government announced its own state of emergency, calling on residents to refrain from going out, among other things.
Miyazaki Gov. Shunji Kono also hinted at the possibility of asking the central government to his prefecture to the emergency declaration if the number of new infections continues to rise.
Ibaraki Prefecture, meanwhile, asked local residents to avoid going out for nonessential reasons.
“It’s not an issue only for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures,” Nagano Gov. Shuichi Abe said. “The situation is very critical all over the country.
Fukui Prefecture Gov. Tatsuji Sugimoto called on local residents to refrain from making nonessential trips to the Tokyo metropolitan area.
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What will Tokyo’s second state of emergency mean?
Emergency declared for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba
Anxiety mounts over second state of emergency in Tokyo area
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