Suga urges cooperation with state of emergency

Japan's prime minister is urging the public to help curb rising coronavirus cases, hours after a state of emergency came into effect for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.

Suga Yoshihide told reporters on Friday morning, "We take the current situation very seriously. We are asking everyone to cooperate to overcome this crisis."

On Thursday, new cases in Japan surpassed 7,000 for the first time. About half were in the Tokyo region.

Local governors will ask bars and restaurants to close by 8 p.m., and residents to avoid non-essential outings after that time.

The minister in charge of the coronavirus response has also asked companies to allow more remote work, and reduce the number of staff in their offices by 70 percent.

The governors of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto are also considering asking the central government to add their prefectures to the state of emergency.