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Japan virus panel urges minimizing limits to citizens’ rights

  • January 16, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 8:06 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Jan. 16 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government’s subcommittee on novel coronavirus measures has compiled a proposal calling for limits to citizens’ rights in coronavirus policy measures to be as small as possible, it was learned Saturday.


The panel drew up the proposal in response to the government’s plan to revise the special measures law on responses to dangerous infectious diseases including new influenza and COVID-19 and the infectious disease law, to strengthen its measures.


“Restrictions on citizens’ freedoms and rights must be as small as possible,” the proposal said. “(The government) must respond appropriately without causing discrimination and bias.”


It also presented the challenges that the subcommittee faced in measures so far, as well as the panel’s thoughts on legal revisions.


On the special measures law, the subcommittee called for clarification to give authority on regional measures to prefectural governors and on national matters to the central government.


On the issue of businesses not complying with governors’ requests for virus measures, the panel said that the government must quickly come to a conclusion on a solution that can gain understanding from citizens.


The proposal also noted that some information regarding the spread of the virus on regional levels did not reach the central government smoothly, making it difficult to make a quick analysis of the epidemic.


It urged adding a clause in the infectious disease law that would enable the central government to instruct municipalities to offer such information.


Meanwhile, the proposal also stressed the need to clarify that arranging hospitalizations for patients is the responsibility of prefectural governments.

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