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Japan extends the Covid-19 state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo region

The two-week extension will affect Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures

Kaila Imada
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Kaila Imada
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[Update, March 5] The Japanese government has extended the state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo area for an additional two weeks, according to NHK. The emergency declaration, which was initially set to end on March 7, will remain in place for the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama.

As reported by The Japan Times, the extension is intended to ease the strain on hospitals and help the affected prefectures reduce daily case numbers. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga first shared his thoughts on an extension on Wednesday March 3 before confirming the extension this evening after consulting with experts and officials. With the additional two-week period, the state of emergency is now set to end on Sunday March 21.

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[March 3] The Greater Tokyo region is requesting an extension on the current state of emergency, which is set to expire this Sunday March 7. Nikkei reports that the further extension is due to a recent slowdown in the decline of new Covid-19 cases. 

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike will be requesting that the national government extends the state of emergency beyond its end date for up to two more weeks. The extension would affect the Greater Tokyo region including Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures.

In addition, The Japan Times states that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government had set a target for daily new cases to drop to 70 percent of the number of cases from the previous week. However, Koike says that the current caseload is closer to 80 to 90 percent of the week before, meaning it has not dropped significantly enough to consider lifting the state of emergency.

Currently, restaurants and bars have been asked to close by 8pm until the emergency is lifted on March 7. Nikkei reports that if the emergency is extended, those businesses will likely be asked to continue to operate at reduced hours. 

Meanwhile, the state of emergency was recently lifted on Sunday February 28 for six other prefectures: Aichi, Gifu, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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