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【日本】Govt. mulls extending emergency by about a month

The Japanese government is considering extending a nationwide state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic by about a month. The declaration is currently scheduled to be in place until next Wednesday. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo said at an Upper House Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday that the question remains whether it will be possible to say on May 6 that the state of emergency is over. He said that prospect still appears unlikely, noting that cases of infection continue to rise. Prefectural leaders held an online meeting on Wednesday and decided to ask the central government to extend the nationwide state of emergency. Many governors made calls for the declaration to remain in place, citing fears that infections could spread further if the declaration is partially lifted and people start moving around again. Sources say members of a Japanese government expert panel agreed at an unofficial meeting that the emergency declaration should be extended nationwide. The panel is expected to meet as early as Friday. Members will study the number of cases and the medical systems in different regions and exchange views on decision-making criteria and other matters.


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