Gov't eyes declaring state of emergency on Thursday for about a month

Japan Today -- Jan 05
Japan plans to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures this week, possibly on Thursday at the earliest, and lasting for about one month to curb its largest-yet surge of coronavirus cases, government officials said Monday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the government is considering the measure without specifying a start date or duration. It would be the second state of emergency in the country since the global pandemic broke out.

Government sources said the government plans to decide on the declaration possibly on Thursday, and put it into effect on the same day or Friday. The initial start date was being planned for Saturday.

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike and the leaders of Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures agreed to jointly ask residents to refrain from nonessential trips outside the house and call on dining and drinking establishments to close by 8 p.m., further cutting their operating hours from the 10 p.m. currently requested.

It was not immediately clear what another state of emergency would look like, with schools and some businesses closing during the previous one last spring.

Suga indicated in a New Year's press conference that social and economic activities are unlikely to be halted across the board this time, saying the measure should be implemented "in a limited and focused manner."

- Japan Today