Sumary of Japan to raise virus steps in Tokyo, 3 months ahead of Games:
- TOKYO (AP) — Japan is set to strengthen anti-virus measures in Tokyo on Friday to curb the rapid spread of a more contagious coronavirus variant just three months before the Olympics begin in the capital where most people are not yet vaccinated..
- Experts on a government panel gave preliminary approval to the emergency measures that would include binding orders in Tokyo, in Kyoto in western Japan and in the southern island prefecture of Okinawa..
- The measures expected to be announced later Friday by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga would start Monday and last until early May..
- The step comes less than three weeks after Tokyo exited a state of emergency that had included non-binding requests for business owners for shorter hours and for the residents to be mindful of basic preventive measures..
- Suga government has been criticized for acting too slow on virus measures out of reluctance to damage the already pandemic-hit economy..
- The new measures allow prefectural leaders to target specific cities and issue binding orders, which Suga says is aimed at preventing another state of emergency..
- On Thursday, Koike called for the residents to avoid nonessential trips, social distancing and other basic measures..
- The added steps would come days after the government designated Osaka for the new binding anti-virus measures because of a resurgence blamed on the spread of the variant…