COVID-19 state of emergency possible: LDP’s Takaichi

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Sanae Takaichi

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese ruling party executive Sanae Takaichi said Sunday it is possible for the government to declare a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“A state of emergency will have adverse impacts on the economy, but (protecting) life is top priority,” Takaichi, head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s Policy Research Council, said in a television program in which policy heads from the ruling and opposition parties discussed COVID-19 measures.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to make a decision “without hesitation,” she added.

Yuzuru Takeuchi, policy chief of Komeito, the coalition partner of the LDP, also stressed the need for the government to consider the possibility of issuing a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, Junya Ogawa, policy head of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said, “Reducing the flow of people is the only way to contain the pandemic.” Measures taken by the government so far are not effective at all, he said.

Shun Otokita, policy chief of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), said, “No clear scientific evidence has been laid out regarding effects of curbing the flow of people, so it is difficult to encourage people to change their activities.”

Otokita urged the government to examine effects of its COVID-19 measures and disclose the results.

Kohei Otsuka, policy leader of the Democratic Party for the People, urged the government to quickly draw up measures to prevent infection among children.

Japanese Communist Party policy chief Tomoko Tamura criticized the government for being slow to take countermeasures, while Reiwa Shinsengumi policy head Akiko Oishi stressed the need to put measures to prevent infections from spreading further into place as soon as possible.

The LDP’s Takaichi admitted the slow start of the administration of third shots of COVID-19 vaccines.

The CDP’s Ogawa said that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida should set a goal as to booster shots.