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Japan reduces event capacities in greater Tokyo

Major events in the area have been revised down to 5,000 people or 50% of capacity after the PM declared a state of emergency

By IQ on 11 Jan 2021

A state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chib and Saitama

A state of emergency has been declared in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chib and Saitama


image © Pixabay

The Japanese government has asked cinemas, museums and other event facilities in greater Tokyo to reduce capacities after declaring a state of emergency in the area.

Prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, last Thursday (7 January) announced that Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama – which together account for about 30% of the country’s population of 126 million – would be placed immediately under emergency measures for a month in a bid to curb surging Covid-19 cases.

Under the new restrictions, which will be in effect until at least 7 February, major events will be allowed to go ahead, with the cap for spectators revised down to 5,000 people or 50% of capacity, whichever is smaller.

“The situation has become increasingly troubling nationwide and we have a strong sense of crisis,” Suga said as he announced the new restrictions. “We fear that the nationwide, rapid spread of the coronavirus is having a big impact on people’s lives and the economy.”

“We fear that the nationwide, rapid spread of the coronavirus is having a big impact on people’s lives and the economy”

Unlike Japan’s first state of emergency in last spring, schools and non-essential businesses will not be asked to close.

Gyms, department stores and entertainment facilities will be asked to shorten their opening hours and an estimated 150,000 bars and restaurants in Tokyo and the three neighbouring prefectures will be asked to stop serving alcohol at 7 pm and to close an hour later. Residents are encouraged to avoid non-essential outings after 8 pm.

The state of emergency was declared as Tokyo reported a record 2,447 new infections on Thursday, up from 1,591 on Wednesday.

Despite the worrying surge, Japanese and International Olympic Committee officials have insisted that the global pandemic will not derail plans to open the already postponed Tokyo Olympics on 23 July, and last week Suga insisted he was still committed to holding the Olympics as “proof of mankind’s victory over the virus”.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is scheduled to run from 23 July to 8 August, with the Paralympics due to follow from 24 August to 5 September.

 


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