Brussels 06.02.2022 Japan plans to decide whether to extend a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and 12 prefectures in the first half of this week, government sources said Sunday, February 6.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida affirmed the plan during talks with health minister Shigeyuki Goto and related ministers, the sources said, as the Tokyo metropolitan government reported 17,526 daily coronavirus cases in the capital, the highest tally for a Sunday.
Kishida instructed Noriko Horiuchi, minister in charge of promoting vaccine rollouts, to speed up administering third shots to cope with the new wave of infections spurred by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The government is considering extending the quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo and 12 prefectures by two weeks or to the end of the month from the original end date of February 13.
The 12 prefectures are Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, which border the capital, as well as Gunma, Niigata, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Kagawa, Nagasaki, Kumamoto and Miyazaki.
If any of the 13 local authorities do not wish to extend the emergency, the government will respect such intent.
Quasi-emergency measures involve restricting business hours of restaurants and bars, as well as a request to refrain from nonessential travel between prefectures in an effort to reduce strain on the medical system.