All national dailies wrote that the GOJ formally decided on Tuesday to place 18 more prefectures under a quasi-state of emergency from Jan. 27 to Feb. 20 and extend until Feb. 20 the existing quasi-state emergency for Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, and Okinawa that was set to expire on Jan 31. This will bring the total number of the nation’s 47 prefectures under a quasi-state of emergency to 34.
When asked by a reporter how the GOJ will respond if governors ask it to declare a state of emergency, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said that the government will study the possibility very carefully because the measure would involve restrictions on private rights. Matsuno added that the government is not considering asking all elementary and junior high schools in the nation to close temporarily in response to the current surge in infections with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
In a related story, Nikkei wrote that LDP General Council Chairperson Fukuda Tatsuo told reporters on Tuesday that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Japan will likely peak in the near future because the number of people out and about has dropped due to the implementation of quasi-state of emergency measures.