Tokyo seeks re-extension of state of emergency

The governors of Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures have jointly asked the central government to extend the coronavirus state of emergency for the capital and the intensive virus measures for the prefectures beyond Monday, May 31.

The governors of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa made the request after they agreed to do so at an online meeting on Wednesday.

During the online meeting, they voiced concerns over continued severe situations in the metropolitan area, with variants becoming the main sources of infection, despite a declining trend in the numbers of new cases.

Earlier this month, the central government extended the state of emergency for Tokyo and the intensive measures for the three prefectures until midnight of next Monday.

The governors also asked the government to provide financial support to businesses to be affected by the re-extension of the state of emergency and the intensive measures.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said at the meeting that there are concerns over a possible rapid resurge in infections if the state of emergency and the measures are lifted. She said Tokyo and the three prefectures will work together to contain infections.

A state of emergency declaration by the central government allows governors to implement stricter measures than intensive measures.

Also on Wednesday, the governors of the three western prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto confirmed they will ask the government to re-extend the state of emergency for their prefectures, which is due to expire at midnight of next Monday.

Hiroshima asked the government for the extension of the state of emergency for the prefecture on Wednesday.