Japan PM Kishida not considering Covid state of emergency for Tokyo

Tokyo: The rate in hospitals in the capital recently reached 48.5 percent, leading Kishida to clarify his current stance on the state of emergency on Monday.

"A quasi-state of emergency has already begun, and our basic approach is that we will confirm its effect, watch how the situation evolves, and work closely with towns before making a thorough decision," Kishida said at a press conference on the subject. "The government is not considering establishing a state of emergency at this time," he said.

34 of Japan's 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, are currently in a quasi-state of emergency, which means local governors and authorities can order bars and restaurants to close early and stop serving alcohol.

If a full state of emergency is declared, stricter anti-viral measures could be implemented, such as limiting the hours when commercial facilities like shopping malls, cinemas, and entertainment parks are open, or requiring them to close entirely.

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