Chiba – The Chiba Prefectural Government plans to ask businesses to shut down in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Kensaku Morita said.
Chiba is one of the seven prefectures covered by the state of emergency declaration issued Tuesday by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to contain the deadly virus.
Speaking to reporters, Morita said Saturday that he can present a plan for the business shutdown request this week.
Tokyo's eastern neighbor was initially reluctant to issue the request but reversed course after similar requests appeared imminent for Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.
"It is expected that people will come in droves to Chiba" from the three prefectures, Morita said.
Toshihito Kumagai, mayor of the city of Chiba, said his city plans to issue a business shutdown request of its own as well.
Nightclubs, cabarets, bars, internet cafes, karaoke parlors and live music clubs are expected to be subject to the request, which is likely to take effect Tuesday, Kumagai said.
The city's request will not be legally binding, but since the prefecture's request appears likely be issued over the weekend, Kumagai urged Gov. Morita to act more quickly.
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