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PM Abe urges people to stay home, apologizes for confusion over cash handouts

All national dailies reported on Saturday on a press conference held by Prime Minister Abe at the Kantei on Friday evening. He reportedly reiterated his call for people to refrain from going out ahead of the Golden Week holidays. The premier also apologized for “causing confusion” with the last-minute reworking of a draft budget to realize a plan to provide 100,000-yen cash handouts to all citizens. Abe reportedly pointed out that the goal to minimize people-to-people contact by 70 to 80% has not been met, and explained that the state of emergency was expanded to include all prefectures in order to empower local governments to take necessary measures to prevent the influx of people before the Golden Week holidays. In addition, the premier reportedly disclosed a plan to double the reimbursement to hospitals treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients to help support medical care workers.

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