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  • Japan has issued a state of emergency in Tokyo due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
  • The emergency measures will focus on reducing social interactions and encouraging remote work.

Japan has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo as the country faces a surge in COVID-19 cases, particularly after the New Year holidays. The emergency measures are set to be in place for a month and will focus on reducing social interactions in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the decision to declare the state of emergency during a meeting with the government task force on COVID-19. The measures will include asking restaurants and bars to close early and limiting the size of gatherings at events. Kishida also emphasized the importance of encouraging remote work and telecommuting to reduce the number of people commuting to work and coming into close contact with others.

The state of emergency declaration comes as Japan experiences a record number of daily COVID-19 cases, with Tokyo reporting more than 17,000 new cases on Thursday. Hospitals in the capital are struggling to cope with the surge in cases, with many running out of beds and medical staff stretched thin.

In addition to Tokyo, several other prefectures, including Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama, will also be placed under the state of emergency. The government will provide financial support to businesses affected by the measures, including compensation for complying with requests to shorten operating hours or close entirely.

The state of emergency in Tokyo is the latest in a series of measures taken by the Japanese government to combat the spread of COVID-19. The country has been cautious about imposing strict lockdowns, opting instead for targeted measures to address specific outbreaks. The success of the emergency measures will depend on the cooperation of the public in following guidelines and reducing social interactions to help curb the spread of the virus.

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