TOKYO: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga on July 30 rejected the possibility of the government declaring a fresh state of emergency over the novel coronavirus crisis.
“At this point, we are not in a situation to declare a state of emergency again to let social and economic activities shrink substantially,” the top government spokesman told a press conference.
“The situation is different from when a state of emergency was declared in April,” he said, pointing out that many of those who were recently confirmed to be infected with the virus are young while the number of infected people aged 60 or over and that of severely ill patients are small.
On whether the government will continue its ‘Go To Travel’ tourism promotion campaign amid the recent resurgence in infections, Suga said, “We will act appropriately while hearing from experts as needed.”
The daily number of newly confirmed novel coronavirus cases in Japan topped 1,000 for the first time on July 29. Also on the day, two novel coronavirus cases were found in Iwate, northeastern Japan, which had been the only one with no confirmed infection case among the country’s 47 prefectures.
“We will continue to watch the situation closely, and take effective infection prevention measures while balancing them with economic and social activities,” Suga said.
The government declared a state of emergency on April 7 for Tokyo and six other prefectures with spikes in infection cases and expanded it nationwide on April 16. The state of emergency was lifted in stages in May.
The ‘Go To Travel’ campaign, which reduces users’ travel costs, started on July 22 with the exclusion of trips to and from Tokyo, where coronavirus infections are increasing rapidly.