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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 1 - 7  > Minister in charge of COVID-19 imposes responsibility for infection prevention on individuals
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2020 July 1 - 7 [POLITICS]

Minister in charge of COVID-19 imposes responsibility for infection prevention on individuals

July 5, 2020
Amid growing concern over the spike in new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, the Abe Cabinet minister in charge of the coronavirus situation in Japan made a remark placing responsibility for infection prevention on individuals.

At a press conference on July2, Nishimura Yasutoshi, who is also the Economic Revitalization Minister, asked by the press about the Abe government’s response to a surge in new infections in Tokyo, said angrily, “No one wants to be placed under a state of emergency with business suspensions. Japan cannot beat the coronavirus unless individual people take responsibility to protect themselves.” This remark reflects the government’s stance giving top priority to the economy and its reluctance to suspend business activities. On the next day, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide told the press that the government does not think that the current situation requires re-imposing a state of emergency.

In the first week of July, Tokyo saw a sharp increase in the daily number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases with 107 persons tested positive on July 2 and 124 on July 3. Tokyo’s infection numbers exceeded the number set by a government expert panel for the issuance of stay-at-home and business suspension requests. It is urgently necessary for the national and Tokyo governments to consider implementing additional measures based on scientific data and analysis.

The Abe government should disclose basic data concerning the current situation of the coronavirus spread, improve transparency in decision-making processes regarding measures needed to tackle COVID-19, and implement necessary measures without delay.
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