Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Japan PM mulls declaring state of emergency for Tokyo area

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Monday the government would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as coronavirus cases climb and strain the country’s medical system.

The possible emergency declaration would mark a reversal, as has Mr. Suga resisted any such drastic steps to restrict economic activity.

Japan saw a record 4,520 new cases on Dec. 31, prompting the capital, Tokyo, and three neighboring prefectures to seek an emergency declaration from the national government. The region now accounts for about half of new nationwide cases.

“Even during the three days of the New Year’s holidays, cases didn’t go down in the greater Tokyo area,” Mr. Suga said at a news conference to mark the start of 2021. “We felt that a stronger message was needed.”

He did not say when the government would make a decision, or what restrictions would follow. The first state of emergency, declared last spring, lasted more than a month, shutting down schools and non-essential businesses.

Mr. Suga repeated, however, that many of the new cases with unknown origins were likely linked to restaurants, and that the government’s latest request for restaurants in the Tokyo area to close at 8 p.m. — rather than 10 p.m. — should be effective.

As a third wave of infections hit Japan last month, the government paused a popular subsidized travel programme for two weeks through Jan. 11. Mr. Suga said resuming the “Go To Travel” programme would be tough under a state of emergency.

Toshihiro Nagahama, an economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, estimated that a monthlong suspension of non-urgent spending by consumers in the Greater Tokyo area would reduce gross domestic product (GDP) by 2.8 trillion yen ($27 billion), or an annualized 0.5%.

“The loss of GDP could throw 147,000 people out of work,” he wrote in a note.

Japanese shares fell on the year’s first day of trading, reacting to news of the potential state of emergency.

Although Japan has relied on voluntary closings rather than the sort of rigid lockdown measures seen elsewhere in the world, Mr. Suga said a bill would be submitted to the next session of parliament to give state-of-emergency restrictions more teeth, including penalties.

Although the case numbers in Japan pale in comparison to many parts of Europe and the Americas, Mr. Suga has the challenge of hosting the Olympics in Tokyo this summer after the pandemic caused the Games’ first-ever delay in 2020.

Japan last month said it would temporarily ban non-resident foreign nationals from entering the country after the detection of the new, highly infectious variant of the coronavirus.

Mr. Suga repeated on Monday the government’s pledge to host the Games, and said it would aim to start vaccinating residents by the end of February. — Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Economy

THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Tuesday amid easing global oil prices and ahead of an expected increase in remittances due to the...

Economy

PHILIPPINE STOCKS extended their climb on Tuesday on last-minute bargain-hunting and ahead of the rebalancing of the MSCI. The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index...

Economy

THE government financial institutions (GFIs) that will be tapped to provide capital and help manage a P250-billion sovereign wealth fund have disclosed their proposed...

Economy

THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) urged the Philippines to eliminate tariffs on imports of all electric vehicles (EVs) regardless of...

Economy

PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is expected to sign an executive order (EO) that will fast-track applications for investments deemed strategic to the economy,...

Economy

AN Israeli tech investor said a country’s legal system is a major consideration in attracting foreign investment, and urged legislators to reform the tax...

You May Also Like

Investing

The minute that any question pops into your head, you can simply ask Google. No longer do we have to pour over books and...

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Investing

Browsing history makes referring to sites and pages you’ve visited in the past seamless. It’ll help you recall what page you checked out on...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.