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Another day, another grim milestone for Japan. A day after cumulative coronavirus cases hit 200,000, Japan’s death toll from the novel coronavirus topped 3,000 on Tuesday. The number of deaths across Japan in December, which has exceeded 800, is already more than double that of November, at 382. A single-day record of 53 deaths was reported last week.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has reiterated his stance that there is no need for Japan to call a national state of emergency, even as health care authorities declared their own medical state of emergency Monday. Suga said the head of the government’s expert panel on the pandemic had told him “we’re not there yet” with respect to calling a state of emergency.

There also won’t be an election as long as the coronavirus is not under control in Japan, Suga reiterated.

New concerns over COVID-19 variant detected in the U.K. | ABC NEWS
New concerns over COVID-19 variant detected in the U.K. | ABC NEWS

Fearing the spread to Japan of a new, more easily transmissible strain of the coronavirus that has been detected in the U.K. and elsewhere, Kyodo reports (in Japanese) that the the government has decided to tighten restrictions on arrivals from Britain, barring entry to everyone from the country except Japanese citizens. (Sound familiar? See 3) below.)

Toyota also says it will halt production in the U.K. and France from Tuesday due to transport delays as a result of several countries having closed their borders with Britain. The border closures have “disrupted the transportation of parts,” Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada said.

Tuesday’s (and Monday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (20 or over): Tokyo 563 (392), Kanagawa 348 (188), Osaka 283 (180), Saitama 196 (117), Aichi 190 (92), Hyogo 190 (44), Chiba 152 (117), Fukuoka 88 (93), Kyoto 81 (47), Hiroshima 77 (78), Hokkaido 74 (110), Miyagi 41 (6), Gifu 35 (17), Tochigi 34 (17), Kochi 31 (17), Nara 31 (26), Shizuoka 30 (13), Nagasaki 26 (19), Kumamoto 25 (13), Gunma 23 (17), Okinawa 21 (21). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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