On April 7, 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency for the Tokyo metropolitan area, Osaka Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, Hyogo Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture, to remain in place until May 6. This declaration will empower prefectural leaders to take further steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), such as urging residents to stay at home, and restricting the operation of schools and other public institutions. Residents of these designated prefectures have been asked to refrain from non-essential outings, with exceptions for grocery shopping and access to other essential services. They should also avoid traveling to other parts of the country where possible.
It was emphasised that these restrictions will not lead to “lockdowns” as seen in China and parts of Europe, and that the operation of essential services such as public transport will not be affected.
In his address, Prime Minister Abe encouraged all residents of Japan to avoid the “Three Cs” (３つの密)
- 1. Closed spaces with poor ventilation （換気の悪い密閉空間）
- 2. Crowded places with many people nearby（多数が集まる密集場所）
- 3. Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations（間近で会話や発声する密接場所）
A Japanese language version of the address is available on the Prime Minister's Office website: http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/98_abe/actions/202004/07corona.html