Japan to declare ‘short, powerful’ emergency in Tokyo, elsewhere

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Japan will declare “short and powerful” states of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures on Friday as the country struggles to contain a resurgent pandemic just three months ahead of the Olympics.

Under a new state of emergency for April 25 to May 11, the government will require restaurants, bars, and karaoke parlours serving alcohol to close, and big sporting events to be held without spectators, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said.

Breaching the restrictions will in some cases carry penalties under a recently revised law, he said.

“We absolutely have to limit the movement of people, and we have to do it decisively. We need powerful, short and focused measures,” he said, asking people to remember the lockdowns of last spring and stay at home.

The new restrictions are expected to be formally approved at a government task force meeting later on Friday and announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at an 8 p.m. (1100 GMT) news conference.

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