NHK: Japan Considers Lifting COVID-19 State of Emergency in Osaka
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
NHK reported on Wednesday that the Japanese government is considering lifting the state of emergency in the neighboring prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo on Thursday. The government is closely monitoring the situation in Tokyo to possibly make a decision on that metropolis as well.
Eight prefectures in Japan remain in a state of emergency, and the government is targeting 0.5 or fewer new infections per 100,000 people in one week as one criteria for lifting the state of emergency. Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo have reached that target, but Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa have not yet done so.
Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka from April 7 to May 6. Kyoto Governor Takatoshi Nishiwaki asked the Japanese government on April 10 to add Kyoto to the state of emergency. Aichi Governor Hideaki Ōmura similarly asked the Japanese government on April 16 to add his prefecture to the list, and then independently declared a state of emergency on April 17. Hokkaido had lifted its own three-week state of emergency on March 19, only to declare a second state of emergency on April 12.
Abe then announced on April 16 that the national government expanded the state of emergency nationwide until May 6. As required by the newly enacted law that allowed for this declaration, Abe met with the government's COVID-19 task force of experts before formally announcing the expansion. The government later extended the state of emergency to May 31, but last week lifted it from 39 out of 47 prefectures, with Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Hyogo, and Hokkaido remaining in a state of emergency.
As of Tuesday, Japan has reported 16,365 cases of the virus (not including 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship), with 763 deaths (not including 13 deaths from the Diamond Princess cruise ship).