On the 29th, the government decided to add Saitam, Chib, Kanagawa and Osaka to the goal of a new emergency declaration on the coronavirus. A statement issued before the opening of the Olympic Games in Tokyo was supposed to be a “precautionary measure” to prevent the spread of the infection starting from Tokyo, but the spread of the infection does not stop. The government was cautious with adding targeted areas, but was forced to change policy to the worst contagion situation ever. (Shunsuke Shimizu)
◆ Government fears criticism of “Goth”
“I want to respond with a strong sense of crisis.”
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga expressed his 29th intention to respond to the addition of a state of emergency target. I told reporters at the official residence.
The government has been cautious about increasing the area covered by the declaration. If you add that, you will admit that government measures are lagging behind.
The four prefectures that issued the declaration this time have already implemented “priority measures such as preventing proliferation” in line with the declaration. As in the declaration, it is not possible to request or order leave from a business entity, but it is possible to request or order a reduction of working hours even under priority measures. The supply of alcoholic beverages, which is a pillar of countermeasures, has been “suspended in principle” but can be secured at the governor’s discretion, and the supply of alcoholic beverages to a limited number of people is allowed, except in Kanagawa.
◆ In order to avoid influencing the Olympic Games …
A senior government official said, “First of all, we need to do what we can.”
The government wants to limit the issuance of a state of emergency to avoid affecting the Olympics as much as possible.
At a news conference after the prime minister decided to issue a fourth declaration in Tokyo on July 8, he said, “We absolutely must avoid spreading the contagion starting in Tokyo,” and said “the first move” and “precautions.” . Although the audience with an increasing number of people left the event, it was not expected to expand the statement or expand the scope during that period. Vaccination is progressing, and a senior government official said earlier this week, “If there are about 2,500 newly infected people in Tokyo, there is no problem.”
However, half a month has passed since the announcement. The largest number of infected people was confirmed in Tokyo, and the number of infected people in the area increased rapidly, exceeding the expectations of experts. We have no choice but to respond to requests to add declared areas accordingly.
◆ Statement that the effect is lost due to “crown habituation”
The spread of the infection has been prolonged, and people are getting used to the crown. The declaration is ineffective and the number of people is slowing down.
The declaration, released in January, aimed at “intensive and limited” measures for restaurants, and the declaration, released in April, aimed at “short-term concentration” to reduce the number of people during Golden Week holidays. I was forced to expand the goal. The spread of the infection continued, and public confidence was lost.
Replacement of the highly contagious Delta strain (Indian strain) is progressing and the spread of the infection will not stop. Journalists asked the 29th prime minister that “the effect of the declaration may have disappeared”, and he did not deny that he “knows that there are various opinions”.
◆ Chairman Omi demands “clear and strong message”
“I want you to send a clearer and stronger message than ever before.” Shigeru Omi, chairman of the government’s new subcommittee on countermeasures for the crown, asked the government on May 29 in the Peace Council government committee.
The prime minister told reporters the same day, “The number of people is declining. I hope you can watch (the Olympics) at home and work together to speed up the decline,” but the rate of decline is small. He’s worried. The executive director in the Prime Minister’s Office also acknowledged that the government’s response was stalled, saying: “What we can do is the same.”