Japan Prolongs State of Emergency Until March 7

TOKYO – Japan’s second state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended until March 7 as hospitals remain under strain despite the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced in a press conference on Tuesday evening.

The declaration, which took effect on Jan. 8 for Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama, then expanded to cover Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Tochigi and Fukuoka, was scheduled to end on Feb. 7.

The measure was lifted for Tochigi Prefecture because its COVID-19 situation has improved. - Florenda Corpuz

(A man walks past an izakaya in Yurakucho, Tokyo on Jan. 12. Under the current state of emergency, bars and restaurants are requested to stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. and close an hour later in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 infections. Photograph by Din Eugenio)