Suga urges ministers to finalize emergency details

Japan's government will make a final decision on Thursday on a plan to declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures to curb the coronavirus. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has urged relevant ministers to quickly finalize details of measures that would be taken under such a declaration.

Suga on Wednesday met with Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi, who is also in charge of the coronavirus response, and health minister Tamura Norihisa. The ministers updated him on developments.

After the meeting, Nishimura said Suga instructed him to work out the details of a state of emergency as soon as possible.

The government plans to make its final decision at a coronavirus task force meeting on Thursday, which will be held after seeking opinions from a coronavirus advisory panel consisting of infectious diseases experts. The government also reports to the Diet.

Under a state of emergency, the government says it would implement measures in a limited and focused manner, including reducing the risk of infections at restaurants and bars.

Suga also plans to submit a legal revision to the Diet that would allow the disclosure of the names of restaurants and bars that refuse to comply with requests to shorten their hours. The government is looking to expand financial support for those that comply with such requests.

The government would also promote remote work and apply tighter restrictions on gatherings and events.