Photos: Japan declares emergency for Tokyo area as Covid-19 cases spike

UPDATED ON JAN 08, 2021 06:10 PM IST
A thin crowd walks across pedestrian crossings in the Ginza shopping area of Tokyo, Japan on January 8. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three adjoining prefectures, after Covid-19 infections and the number of people in serious condition reached record levels. The measure has been imposed from January 8 to February 7. (Eugene Hoshiko / AP)
A station passageway is crowded with commuters during rush hour on January 8 in Tokyo. The emergency hands power to local governments to urge residents to stay home after 8 p.m. and order some businesses to limit operations, though authorities can’t force compliance for now. New restrictions could be expanded to cover more of the country if infections worsen, with areas including Osaka also experiencing a surge. (Eugene Hoshiko / AP)
A large screen shows Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during a press conference on a state of emergency for the greater Tokyo area, on January 7. Japan’s version of an emergency doesn’t result in the type of lockdowns seen in Europe. Due to civil liberties enshrined in Japan’s postwar constitution, the government cannot send police to clear people off the streets, as has happened in places including France, Italy and the UK. (Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP)
A taxi driver leans against his vehicle on an empty street in Tokyo on January 8. The main effect of the emergency will be to increase the powers of prefectural governors. Under an emergency, a governor can urge local people to avoid unnecessary outings, but residents have the right to ignore such requests, and there are no penalties for disobedience. (Kentaro Takahashi / Bloomberg)
A woman wearing kimono makes her way at Asakusa district in Tokyo on January 8. Commuters wait for a train while on their way home, in Tokyo on January 5. People largely complied with government requests to refrain from going out during the previous state of emergency. But Prime Minister Suga said in a January 4 press conference that the movement of people in the Tokyo area had not fallen much in December, despite pleas to stay at home. (Kim Kyung-Hoon / REUTERS)
A man looks at a notice board reading ‘We are temporarily closed due to the recent situation with the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)’ at a pub in Kabukicho district, Tokyo on January 7. Bars and restaurants have been told to close at 8 p.m. under new guidelines, but again there are no penalties for non-compliance. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)
A woman walks past empty tables at a restaurant in Tokyo on January 7. Regions under the emergency will need to emerge from “Stage 4,” the highest government designation for the pandemic, for the status to be lifted. The stages look at factors such as medical capacity, number of patients, test positivity rate and weekly increase in new infections. (Kim Kyung-Hoon / REUTERS)
A staff member of a Japanese Izakaya pub stands to attract customers at Kabukicho district in Tokyo on January 7. The emergency Japan enacted last spring began with a declaration for seven prefectures. That was later expanded nationwide, and the duration extended, before being lifted in stages toward the end of May. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

A thin crowd walks across pedestrian crossings in the Ginza shopping area of Tokyo, Japan on January 8. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three adjoining prefectures, after Covid-19 infections and the number of people in serious condition reached record levels. The measure has been imposed from January 8 to February 7. (Eugene Hoshiko / AP)

A station passageway is crowded with commuters during rush hour on January 8 in Tokyo. The emergency hands power to local governments to urge residents to stay home after 8 p.m. and order some businesses to limit operations, though authorities can’t force compliance for now. New restrictions could be expanded to cover more of the country if infections worsen, with areas including Osaka also experiencing a surge. (Eugene Hoshiko / AP)

A large screen shows Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga during a press conference on a state of emergency for the greater Tokyo area, on January 7. Japan’s version of an emergency doesn’t result in the type of lockdowns seen in Europe. Due to civil liberties enshrined in Japan’s postwar constitution, the government cannot send police to clear people off the streets, as has happened in places including France, Italy and the UK. (Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP)

A taxi driver leans against his vehicle on an empty street in Tokyo on January 8. The main effect of the emergency will be to increase the powers of prefectural governors. Under an emergency, a governor can urge local people to avoid unnecessary outings, but residents have the right to ignore such requests, and there are no penalties for disobedience. (Kentaro Takahashi / Bloomberg)

A woman wearing kimono makes her way at Asakusa district in Tokyo on January 8. Commuters wait for a train while on their way home, in Tokyo on January 5. People largely complied with government requests to refrain from going out during the previous state of emergency. But Prime Minister Suga said in a January 4 press conference that the movement of people in the Tokyo area had not fallen much in December, despite pleas to stay at home. (Kim Kyung-Hoon / REUTERS)

A man looks at a notice board reading ‘We are temporarily closed due to the recent situation with the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19)’ at a pub in Kabukicho district, Tokyo on January 7. Bars and restaurants have been told to close at 8 p.m. under new guidelines, but again there are no penalties for non-compliance. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

A woman walks past empty tables at a restaurant in Tokyo on January 7. Regions under the emergency will need to emerge from “Stage 4,” the highest government designation for the pandemic, for the status to be lifted. The stages look at factors such as medical capacity, number of patients, test positivity rate and weekly increase in new infections. (Kim Kyung-Hoon / REUTERS)

A staff member of a Japanese Izakaya pub stands to attract customers at Kabukicho district in Tokyo on January 7. The emergency Japan enacted last spring began with a declaration for seven prefectures. That was later expanded nationwide, and the duration extended, before being lifted in stages toward the end of May. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

About The Gallery

Japan’s second state of Covid-19 emergency is set to last a month, but public health experts have already expressed doubts whether four weeks is enough time to slow an alarming surge. With residents increasingly facing virus fatigue and no legal framework to force compliance, the country could struggle to quickly turn the trend of infections downward, experts say. Japan has reported new daily infections records for at least two days in the past weeks, with numbers accelerating in the capital of Tokyo. On January 8, Tokyo reported 2,392 confirmed cases, the second highest to date following another record a day prior.

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PUBLISHED ON JAN 09, 2021 06:05 PM IST
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