Japan weighs state of emergency amid ‘severe’ COVID-19 surge

Japan’s prime minister is considering declaring a state of emergency in Tokyo over a “very severe” third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Japan saw a record 4,520 new cases on December 31, prompting the capital, Tokyo, and three neighbouring prefectures to seek an emergency declaration from the national government.

Yoshihide Suga says restaurants and karaoke bars there will have to close earlier. Although the figures pale in comparison to those of many parts of Europe and the Americas, Suga has the challenge of hosting the Olympics in Tokyo this summer after the pandemic caused the Games’ first-ever delay in 2020.