The central government’s declaration of a state of emergency over the growing spread of COVID-19 comes after weeks of intense pressure on the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by many local leaders. But while some things will change with the declaration, others will remain essentially the same.

Under a declaration of emergency, who can do what?

Japan’s governors, especially those of the seven regions that are the target of the declaration (Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka) now have more legal authority to take what measures they deem necessary to prevent more widespread infection.