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Kyodo News reporting that Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is prepared to enact stricter lockdown measures in Tokyo, and expand the number or prefectures under COVID-19 restrictions to deal with an escalating number of cases in the country. The stricter conditions would involve businesses closing earlier, and would allow the gov't to target individual towns rather than an entire prefecture with blanket rules.
- Officials are set to meet tomorrow as part of the coronavirus taskforce with the intention of placing Tokyo in a 'quasi-state of emergency', with the potential for Saitama and Kyoto prefectures both being placed under the same rules. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has called for stricter measures to come in during the Golden Week holidays in late-April/early-May to discourage travel.
- Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures are also experiencing a spike in infections and as such could face stricter conditions.
- While Japan's outbreak of COVID-19 remains well below that experienced in most other developed markets, the gov't is keen to contain the virus as much as possible both due to the low vaccination rate at present, and the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, delayed from 2020.
Source: Kyodo News, MapChart, MNI