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The Japanese government is considering allowing COVID-19 quasi-emergency measures to be taken in the central prefecture of Aichi, which is facing a sharp increase in new infections, it was learned Tuesday.

The national government will also examine whether special measures should be implemented in the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, which surround Tokyo, government sources said.

Quasi-emergency measures are currently in place in Tokyo, as well as the western prefecture of Osaka and some others.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura indicated that the prefecture plans to ask the government for such measures.

“We now recognize that we have no choice but to make the request to the national government,” Omura said.

He said the prefecture would decide a specific period for special measures and areas subject to them through talks with the government.

In Aichi, the daily number of people newly confirmed with coronavirus averaged 152 in the week through Monday, sharply up from around 30 to 40 in mid-March.

The government has indicated that it could implement stronger measures if the average number reaches 160.

“We’re facing a very severe situation,” the governor said. He expressed the prefectural government’s eagerness to substantially curb new infections before the Golden Week holiday period from late April to early May.

In Saitama, Gov. Motohiro Ono told reporters on Tuesday that his prefecture should now consider requesting quasi-emergency measures, in light of a surge over the last few weeks in cases of a coronavirus variant that is currently raging in Osaka and the neighboring prefecture of Hyogo.

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