Japanese prefectural governors to seek restraint over summer travel

Japan Times -- Aug 02
The National Governors’ Association on Sunday discussed a proposal for the government to ask the public to avoid summer holiday travel across prefectural borders, including trips to their parents’ homes during the Bon holidays, to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

“We are at a critical juncture where we must stop the explosive spread of infections at any cost,” Kamon Iizumi, governor of Tokushima Prefecture and head of the association, said at the start of a teleconference of the group of prefectural governors.

The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases had topped 10,000 for three consecutive days until Saturday.

In the proposal, the association cited the rapid resurgence in coronavirus infection cases blamed on the highly contagious delta variant and said that “we must not waste any time in containing the fifth wave of infections,” as flows of people will increase toward the culmination of the summer holiday season.

The proposal called on the national government to ask citizens to refrain from travel to their hometowns and trips to and from areas seeing spikes in coronavirus infections.

In particular, the association urged the central government to issue a strong message asking young people to change their behavior at a time when the proportion of youths in overall new cases has been rising. The central government was also requested to consider binding measures such as lockdown.

- Japan Times