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Japan may extend state of emergency: reports

2021-05-05 HKT 11:03
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  • Under the state of emergency in Tokyo and other urban areas, restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol are required to close. File image: Shutterstock
    Under the state of emergency in Tokyo and other urban areas, restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol are required to close. File image: Shutterstock
The Japanese government is considering extending a coronavirus spurred state of emergency in Tokyo and other major urban areas, a move that could cast doubt on the planned Summer Olympics.

Officials were leaning toward an extension of the measures in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures beyond May 11 as the country battles a surge in Covid-19 cases, the Yomiuri Newspaper said on Wednesday.

Extending the measures, which were imposed on April 25, would likely fan persistent concerns about whether the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin on July 23, can be held as planned.

The games have already been delayed once from last year due to the pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will meet with senior government ministers on Wednesday to discuss an extension, the Yomiuri reported without citing sources.

The Yomiuri did not detail how long an extension might be, but the governor of Osaka Prefecture said an extension of three weeks to a month may be necessary, according to domestic media.

Under the state of emergency in Tokyo and other urban areas, the government required restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close.

Large department stores and cinemas were also shuttered, while spectators were banned from big sporting events.

It was uncertain whether the government will loosen any of the operating restrictions on the services sector, the Yomiuri said. (Reuters)