Reactions were mixed following Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's suggestion Monday that the government may soon declare a state of emergency over the coronavirus in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, following an unabated rise in infections over the New Year holidays.

Opposition parties criticized the decision as too little, too late, while some businesses lamented the further economic loss a second declaration could bring. Government officials say the decision may be made as early as Thursday and will last for about one month.

"The medical system is strained. Is it really enough to (issue an emergency declaration) for just Tokyo and three prefectures?" said Yukio Edano, head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.