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The Prime Minister in Action

Press Conference regarding the Declaration of a State of Emergency

April 6, 2020

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding the press conference

Photograph of the Prime Minister holding the press conference

  • Photograph of the Prime Minister holding the press conference
[Provisional Translation]
On April 6, 2020, the Prime Minister spoke to the press at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Regarding the consideration for the declaration of a state of emergency, the Prime Minister said,
“Earlier I spoke with the other leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party, and I decided to introduce economic measures of an unprecedented scale of 108 trillion yen, equivalent to 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), in light of the enormous impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the economy.
We will provide cash payments totaling over 6 trillion for families and micro-, small-, and medium-sized business operators, who are facing great difficulties. We must also firmly protect employment. We will ensure the protection of employment by supporting business continuity through making interest free loans available at the private financial institutions and introducing a grace period for the payment of national taxes and social security premium, totaling unprecedented scale of 26 trillion yen.
Furthermore, we sought the opinions of Dr. Omi, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on the Basic Action Policy on the COVID-19 countermeasures earlier. Amidst the situation where the number of patients is rapidly increasing in urban areas, such as Tokyo and Osaka, and medical institutions are already going through a critical moment, Dr. Omi provided the opinion that the government should prepare to declare a state of emergency.
Seven prefectures will be subject to the declaration: Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.
The declaration of a state of emergency aims at obtaining greater cooperation from the public as much as possible to reduce people to people contact which could result in transmission for the period of approximately one month and thoroughly building medical treatment structures.
Allow me to make it clear once again. In Japan, even if we issue the declaration of a state of emergency, we will not enforce the lockdowns of cities as seen abroad. It is the view of the experts that that would not be necessary. Public transportation, such as trains, will continue to run and supermarkets and other businesses will remain open. There is no change in Japan’s approach to prevent the spread of infections by asking citizens to avoid the 3Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact setting), among other measures, while maintaining socio-economic activities to the extent possible. The declaration would simply seek to further strengthen and reinforce our approach. We therefore ask all the citizens in those areas to respond with calm.
At the same time, we need to ask for the sufficient cooperation of all citizens to prevent the explosive spread of infections. It is necessary to ask citizens to fully cooperate in refraining from going outside as much as possible, while also asking certain sectors, and those working therein, to continue their businesses in order to maintain social functions.
Based on this recognition, we will make the necessary arrangements and revise the basic action policy.
We intend to issue the declaration of a state of emergency tomorrow at earliest, having of course consulted the expert members of the Advisory Committee.
When we ultimately issue the declaration, I will hold a press conference and thoroughly explain to the public the matters for which I wish to ask for their cooperation.”

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