TOKYO – The Japanese government’s pre-emergency restrictions placed for Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa and nine other prefectures went into effect on Friday, bringing the number of areas under the measures to 16.
The pre-emergency announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday to prevent the spread of COVID-19 cases is effective until Feb. 13.
“With sufficient preparation, without being overly afraid, we ask for close cooperation with prefectures, scientific judgment based on expert knowledge, cooperation of medical personnel, and above all, cooperation of the people. I would like to overcome this situation,” the Japanese premier said.
Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures are also on the list.
Bars and restaurants are asked by prefectural governors to shorten operating hours, among other requests.
Tokyo’s daily count of novel coronavirus infections reached 8,638 on Thursday. - Florenda Corpuz
(Article cover photo: Yurakucho’s izakaya alley on Jan. 20, 2022. Din Eugenio)