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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > JCP Koike comments on gov't decision to extend state of emergency period
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2020 April 22 - May 12 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Koike comments on gov't decision to extend state of emergency period

May 5, 2020

The government on May 4 decided to extend the state of emergency, which was set to expire in two days, until the end of this month.

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on the same day held a press conference in the Diet building and recognized the decision as unavoidable. He, however, criticized the government for not offering a clear explanation or criteria for determining when to end the state of emergency.

It is because, Koike said, the present PCR testing capacity in Japan is too small to accurately grasp the situation on COVID-19 infections.

Koike quoted Hokkaido University Professor Nishiura Hiroshi, a government expert panel member, as saying that the confirmed cases of coronavirus infections are just the tip of the iceberg and that the actual number is likely to be ten times higher. Koike underscored the need to drastically increase Japan's testing capacity. He also said that the JCP will press the government to conduct antigen tests in conjunction with PCR testing.

Koike referred to the fact that Nishimura Yasutoshi, minister in charge of coronavirus measures, said, "We don't know for sure yet when a coronavirus vaccine will be ready. It may take one year or maybe two years. Anyway, we must deal with this disease for a relatively long period of time." This was made in response to a question by JCP member of the House of Representatives Shiokawa Tetsuya. Koike said, "The minister himself admitted to the possibility of a lengthy fight against the coronavirus. So, it is high time for the government to provide compensation for loss of earnings caused by the business suspension request under the state of emergency."
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