Thursday, January 07, 2021
A few months before the Olympics
There is again a state of emergency in Tokyo
In a few months, the Olympic Games are to take place in Japan’s giant metropolis Tokyo. But before the biggest event in the world of sports, the city has to react to a new maximum number of new infections. And she does it consistently.
Japan has again declared a state of emergency for the greater Tokyo area due to the sharp rise in new corona infections, as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced. The measure, which will apply from Friday to February 7th, is not a lockdown: The citizens of Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Saitama and Kanagawa should stay at home and, above all, not go out after 8 p.m. Restaurants and bars should not serve alcohol from 7 p.m. and close at 8 p.m. Unlike in other countries, however, the emergency in Japan does not provide for penalties for violations.
A few months before the planned Olympic Games in Tokyo, the number of new corona infections in the Japanese capital has risen to a record. For the first time, more than 2000 cases were registered within one day. It was only the day before that the number climbed above the 1500 mark for the first time. The preparations for the summer games should continue, Suga said at the beginning of the week.
Japan last called for a state of emergency in Tokyo in April of last year, which was later extended to the entire country and lifted again at the end of May. Recently, however, the number of infections has risen sharply again, especially in the Tokyo area. There is increasing concern about health system overload.
There has never been a hard lockdown in Japan. So far, the authorities’ requests have not been legally binding; instead, they are voluntary. Most citizens of the 127 million country wear mouth and nose protection. But shopping areas in the run-up to the New Year holidays and shrines were overcrowded. Many people continue to use the trams, while others enjoy themselves in bars in Tokyo’s nighttime entertainment areas.