Japan to add 3 more prefectures to state of emergency amid growing concerns about Covid-19 spread

TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japan has decided to add three more prefectures hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic to a state of emergency, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Friday (May 14), in a surprise move reflecting ‘growing concerns about the virus’s spread.

“There were various views expressed at the meeting (with experts). Based on those views, we retracted our original proposal and came up with this new one and got approval for it,” Mr Nishimura told reporters after the meeting.

Japan will add Hokkaido, Okayama and Hiroshima prefectures to the state of emergency now covering Tokyo, Osaka and four other prefectures, he said.

Another three prefectures would be added to a list of regions under a “quasi” state of emergency of targeted measures.

The government had originally proposed designating the five additional prefectures for the quasi-emergency state.

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