After weekslong pressure from public health officials and lawmakers, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday the government would declare a state of emergency as soon as Tuesday covering Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures amid the growing outbreak of COVID-19, in a step that will empower prefectures to take restrictive measures.
The prime minister is slated to designate authorities in the seven prefectures subject to emergency measures. The declaration also will cover Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures, Abe said in a briefing at the Prime Minister's Office.
“(The declaration) is estimated to last a period of one month,” Abe said. “This state of emergency declaration is to ensure the medical care system stays intact and to ask for even more cooperation from the public to avoid contact with each other to reduce infection as much as possible.”