Translated by MATCHA-NEWS
COVID-19 - Prime Minister Abe To Declare A State Of Emergency
Written by Matcha Admin
It was announced that Prime Minister Abe will declare a state of emergency for seven prefectures in Japan. Learn more about what this means and how long it will last.
The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is about to declare a state of emergency in Japan for the first time in history. The state of emergency is supposed to be officially declared on Tuesday, April 7 and come into effect on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The steady rise of coronavirus infections especially in Tokyo has forced Prime Minister Abe to this radical decision.
International residents and visitors who are currently in Japan are kindly asked to follow the requests of local authorities for their own protection and safety.
What Does a State of Emergency Mean?
This state of emergency is not exactly the same as the lockdown imposed in various parts of Europe and the United States of America. The Japanese Constitution does not allow a complete lockdown as it is against peoples' rights and freedom.
The citizens are asked to stay at home and only leave for essential business such as hospital visits or grocery shopping. However, the state cannot enforce penalties on people not obeying the request.
Supermarkets and drugstores will be open for business as usual. Other facilities are asked to close. Even though the government can only express a request, it should actually be understood as a demand.
Schools and other public facilities are asked to temporarily close at least while the state of emergency is in effect. The trains will still operate as well but there might be changes in their schedule making them less frequent.
How Long and Where Will Be the State of Emergency in Effect?
As of now, seven prefectures will be included in the state of emergency. These prefectures are Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka.
The state of emergency is expected to be in effect at least twenty-one days. If the number of new infections stays the same or increases, the period is likely to be extended.
If you find yourself in one of the prefectures mentioned above, please follow the guidelines announced by the local authorities and stay indoors.
MATCHA will continue to release updates on the situation in Japan.
Information current as of April 6, 2020
Written by Chiara Mischke