Japan’s government is preparing to extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and three other regions until the end of May to limit the increase in cases of the coronavirus just months before the Tokyo Olympics begin.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, economy minister and also in charge of pandemic measures, said he hoped the “short and strong” state of emergency would limit the fourth wave, but the number of new cases in the capital Tokyo and Osaka was still high.
If the state of emergency is extended from May 11 to May 31, the Tokyo Olympics will be less than two months away from starting July 23. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed by a year due to the outbreak.
“Osaka’s health system is in a very dangerous state,” Nishimura said at the start of his meeting with a delegation of medical and economic experts, noting that coronavirus mutations are spreading rapidly.
Nishimura said the delegation later approved the extension plan. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to formally approve the extension of the state of emergency at a press conference.