Prime Minister Abe declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic at the Prime minister’s office on April 7. Referring to the current situation in which the spread of new coronavirus infection is rapid and widespread across the country and threatening people’s lives and health, and that the medical systems’ capacity will reach its limit unless measures are taken, he told the nation that “the new coronavirus infection is now about to seriously affect the whole nation’s livelihoods and economy,” and he declared a state of emergency.
This declaration will be executed in Tokyo, Osaka, and other five prefectures (Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Hyogo, and Fukuoka) for one month from April 7 through May 6. In the declaration, the same lockdowns as implemented in the US and Europe will not be carried out. The declaration aims to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus infection by requesting people to refrain themselves from gathering in closed spaces and tight clusters, and from having close contacts with each other, while keeping the necessary socio-economic services. When it is confirmed that it is no longer necessary to take these measures, the government will promptly lift state of emergency.
Along with the declaration, the government’s basic policies for novel coronavirus disease control have been revised, and accordingly, the government has to ask not only the people in the seven prefectures mentioned above but also the people in the rest of all prefectures to refrain themselves from going out for non-essential reasons.
Prime Minister’s press conference regarding the declaration of a state of emergency was held on April 8 at the Prime Minister’s Office. The Prime Minister said, “Yesterday we issued the declaration of a state of emergency, and I would like to express my appreciation for the cooperation extended by many people from today. (…) I believe we will surely overcome this situation if we reduce people to people contact by 70%, ideally by 80%. I would like to ask the continued cooperation of the public.” I was very encouraged by his firm attitude.
Since Fukuoka Prefecture, my electoral district, was designated as one of the seven prefectures which the government’s declaration of a state of emergency will be applied to, I will fulfil my duties as a politician as well as a citizen of Fukuoka Prefecture toward our aim at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus infection.