TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday thanked people in the nation for their cooperation in the fight against the new coronavirus, including switching to teleworking, following the government’s declaration of a state of emergency over the pandemic.
“Cooperation from each and every one of you will enable Japan to get out of the state of emergency,” Abe told reporters at the prime minister’s office.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the government will steadily work on reducing human-to-human contact by providing sufficient information to and raising awareness among the public. There have been no reports on trouble related to the state of emergency declaration, he added.
The state of emergency, declared by Abe on Tuesday under law, covers Tokyo and the six prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka, where cases of infection with the novel coronavirus are surging. It will be in place until May 6, the final day of the Golden Week holiday period.
Suga also said that it could be possible for the government to extend the monthlong state of emergency after hearing opinions of an advisory committee.
On Wednesday, the government started full-fledged work related to its requests for people to refrain from nonessential outings and for companies to temporarily halt operations.
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura held a videoconference with the governors of the seven prefectures subject to the declaration, to discuss responses to the situation.
“We share a strong sense of crisis with you,” Nishimura told the governors, adding that he hopes to work in close cooperation with them.