The emergency empowers local governors to urge people to stay inside and to call for businesses to close. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a month-long state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and five other parts of the country over a spike in coronavirus cases. While this measure is short of a complete lockdown as seen in other parts of the world, it empowers local governors to urge people to stay inside and to call for businesses to close. However, all of these measures will be requests that cannot be enforced with penalties for violations.
"As I decided that a situation feared to gravely affect people's lives and the economy has occurred... I am declaring a state of emergency," Abe said. Abe has already said that there will no lockdowns like those imposed in India or Europe.
The Japan government also approved an emergency economic stimulus package worth 108.2 trillion yen ($993 billion), with fiscal spending of 39.5 trillion yen, aimed at battling the deepening fallout from the coronavirus, government officials said. In the package, the government referred to the pandemic as the "biggest crisis" the global economy has faced since World War II.
According to Jiji news, so far there have been 4,000 recoreded cases of COVID-19 in Japan while almost 100 people have died. The numbers have been rising recently forcing Abe to make the call.