Olympics slated for July 23-August 8; Okinawa to remain under existing state of emergency
The Japanese government relayed on Wednesday its intent to declare a fourth state of emergency for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Tokyo. In addition, the government intends to extend the current state of emergency in Okinawa. The state of emergency for both areas would last until August 22, and the government will formally announce the declaration later this week after meeting with experts. While Osaka is not under a declared state of emergency, its government decided on Wednesday to extend its current “targeted preventive measures.”
Tokyo reported 920 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the 18th day in a row with more new cases than a week before. It is the first time the number has been over 900 since May 13, during the third state of emergency. As of 6:30 p.m. (5:30 a.m. EDT), Japan is reporting 2,191 new cases nationwide on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, 26.35% of Japan’s total population have received the first COVID-19 vaccination shot, and 15.05% have received the second.
The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo government still intend to hold the Tokyo Olympics, despite the majority of Japanese citizens polled wanting them to cancel, delay, or modify the games. The games were already delayed from last year and rescheduled to July 23-August 8 this year.
Japan’s first state of emergency ran from April 7 to May 6 of last year in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka. The government expanded the state of emergency to other prefectures and eventually nationwide on April 16. The government then extended the state of emergency until May 31, but eventually lifted it for most prefectures and then for the entire country six days early.
Japan’s second state of emergency ran from January 8 to February 7 of this year in Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba. The government expanded the state of emergency to seven more prefectures on January 13, and extended it until February 7. The government then extended the state of emergency further in all of these prefectures except Tochigi until March 7, and extended it again in Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba until March 21.
Japan’s third state of emergency ran from April 25 to May 11 in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo. The government extended the state of emergency until May 31 and added Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures. The government added Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima prefectures on May 16, and extended the state of emergency in nine prefectures until June 20. Okinawa has been still under this state of emergency, and seven of the prefectures have maintained “targeted preventive measures” until July 11.
Update: Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Osaka will continue their targeted preventive measures until August 22, while Hokkaido, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo, and Fukuoka will end them as planned on July 11. The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo government are still deciding whether to allow spectators at the Olympics.
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