Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, declared a month-long state of emergency on 7 April in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The government has also approved a record stimulus package worth JPY108 tn (US$990 bn) to support the economy
State of emergency until 6 May
Abe told a televised news conference, “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 […] to relieve that pressure there will have to be a transformation in people’s behaviour […].”
Abe asked people to reduce their contact with others by 70-80%. He called on non-essential workers to work from home and for companies to stagger shifts for employees who cannot work remotely.
The state of emergency will last until 6 May and initially apply to Tokyo and six other prefectures: Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, Osaka Hyogo and Fukuoka.
Abe added, “Please do not go to rural areas, where there are large elderly populations who would be put at risk […].”
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