Japan Prime Minister Expresses Willingness to Declare State of Emergency for Kansai Region

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Sunday that he is prepared to declare a state of emergency for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures over the novel coronavirus.

Governors of the three prefectures have asked the government to issue the declaration to help prevent further surges in infections.

“I understand that the situation there is serious,” Suga said on an NHK television program. “If necessary, I’m ready to respond right now.”

However, Suga also said a decision should be made based on advice from experts and after monitoring the state of infections over the next few days.

Regarding criticism that the current state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures was declared too late, Suga said, “I want to firmly do what I must do, while accepting opinions that I have to humbly accept.”