Japan to expand state of emergency

The Japanese government is set to expand its state of emergency to seven more prefectures amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections. Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday evening to ask for the public's cooperation.

The seven additional prefectures are Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu, Fukuoka, and Tochigi. The declaration currently covers Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures, and was put in place last Friday.

Experts gathered Wednesday morning and analyzed the situation in prefectures where the number of infections has been rapidly increasing since the New Year holidays.

Under the state of emergency, people are asked to refrain from non-essential outings and help reduce the number of commuters by 70 percent by teleworking if possible. Restaurants and bars are requested to shorten their hours. Attendance at various events will also be limited.

The declaration is expected to remain in place until February 7.