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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 June 16 - 22  > COVID-19 state of emergency lifted while pandemic is still ongoing
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2021 June 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

COVID-19 state of emergency lifted while pandemic is still ongoing

June 18, 2021

While many experts warn of a possible spread of the Delta variant in Japan, the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide on June 20 lifted the state of emergency for nine prefectures and applied a quasi-state of emergency to seven of the nine prefectures until July 11. Okinawa, however, will remain under the emergency designation.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference held in the Diet building pointed out that Japan, Tokyo in particular, is not in any position to allow the lifting of the restrictions.

Shii said, "The government should continue the state of emergency and should provide adequate compensation and support to restaurants and business owners who have been requested to apply the voluntary restrictions. At the same time, the government should work to speed up the vaccine rollout and promote a large-scale implementation of PCR tests in order to bring COVID-19 under control."

The average number of newly infected in Tokyo is 385 per day as of June 16, exceeding the 301 of March 21 when the second state of emergency was removed. The number of new cases has stopped decreasing and is even showing signs of a rebound. The Delta variant, which is said to be more transmissible, has been detected mainly in Tokyo and its neighboring prefectures.

Shii again said, "Taking into account the more dangerous Delta strain, I cannot agree with the lifting of the restrictions at this time."

Past related article:
> Shii: Re-extension of state of emergency is result of gov't failure with anti-coronavirus measures [May 28, 2021]

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