Koike says Tokyo has secured 1000 beds for virus patients

Marco Green
April 6, 2020

Tokyo's metropolitan government has asked the people to stay at home as the city of almost 14 million has seen a surge in the number of cases in recent days, reported news agency Reuters.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe takes off mask as he speaks to reporters at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo Monday, April 6, 2020. "Trains will be running and supermarkets will be open".

Currently, Tokyo is experiencing a lack of hospital beds.

Public transportation will continue to operate, Abe said, adding that the declaration will not lead to the kind of lockdown seen in some countries overseas.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said Monday that the measures would reallocate some 18% to 20% of Hungary's state budget, or as much as around $32 billion, while raising the budget deficit from 1% of GDP to 2.7%.

The declaration is expected on Tuesday, as per Kyodo News.

Pressure had been mounting on the government to take the step although Abe has voiced concern about being too hasty, given the restrictions on movement and businesses that would ensue.

Abe has pledged to craft an "unprecedented" stimulus package to respond to the global downturn inflicted by the pandemic, which would exceed the size of one compiled in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis totalling 56 trillion yen ($514bn) in size, with fiscal spending of 15 trillion yen ($137.4bn).

An emergency would appear to have public support. His approval rating fell by 5.7 points from last month to 43.2%, the survey showed.

The Tokyo Medical Association declared a state of medical emergency in the capital on Monday, as the number of in-patients grew.

American said late Sunday that it will run 13 flights daily from the three airports beginning this week, down from an average of 271 flights per day last April.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the law implementing the state of emergency, said residents would be asked, not ordered.

Abe must seek formal advice from a panel of experts before deciding to go ahead and declare the emergency.

Japan had kept its number of coronavirus cases relatively low by closely watching clusters and keeping them under control rather than conducting massive tests, but that strategy has become increasingly hard because of a sharp rise of unlinkable cases. For her part, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has said that more details on what a national emergency entails will be announced soon, but here is what we know so far.

"Japan is still haunted by the negative legacy of the war and the oppression of its citizens", said Yoshinobu Yamamoto, an emeritus professor of global politics at the University of Tokyo.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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