Japan declares ‘state of emergency’ in Tokyo, three other regions as Covid surges

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced this decision observing a surge in coronavirus cases, especially related to the new variants

Published: Apr 23, 2021, 22:23 (IST)

Almost a day after analysts warned of another recession in the country, Japan has imposed a state of emergency in the capital city Tokyo and three other regions on Friday to stop the wide spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that after observing a surge in coronavirus cases, especially related to the new variants, the government has decided to “declare a state of emergency in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo prefectures.”

This has come at a time when the country is stepping into the Golden Week holidays which will be starting from next week and will continue till early May. The holiday season was being assumed to bring help in boosting the businesses that have suffered major losses due to the pandemic.

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“The risk of a double-dip recession has clearly heightened,” said Hiroshi Shiraishi, senior economist at BNP Paribas Securities. “The impact of imposing curbs on Tokyo and Osaka alone would be quite big.”

Tokyo and the three other regions which have been ordered a lockdown will affect nearly 30 per cent of the GDP of Japan as the regions house almost a quarter of the 126 million.

“We need to take stronger and more targeted steps than before including requests (for shops) to close,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

Japan’s biggest industrial event, the Tokyo Motor Show, has also been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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