Japan PM Shinzo Abe proposes state of emergency: COVID-19

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday proposed a state of emergency for several major regions seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

He also announced stimulus package worth one trillion US dollar to cushion the impact on the world’s third-biggest economy. Shinzo Abe told reporters that the official declaration of the state of emergency would likely come on Tuesday, as the country grapples with a recent spike in coronavirus cases, especially in Tokyo and Osaka.

The declaration hands regional governors the power to ask residents to stay inside, seek the closure of businesses that attract large crowds and commandeer land and buildings for medical purposes. But it falls far short of the sort of lockdown measures imposed in parts of Europe, where police have patrolled the streets and fined offenders.

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