Coronavirus : In Japan, the state of emergency in approach, but not confining strictly to limit the spread of the epidemic

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Coronavirus : Au Japon, l’état d’urgence en approche mais pas de confinement strict pour limiter la propagation de l’épidémie

The famous Shibuya crossing in Tokyo, usually black world, is almost deserted on April 7, 2020. — Keita Iijima/AP/SIPA

  • The japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe had to declare a state of emergency on Tuesday night to try to curb the spread of the epidemic of coronavirus.
  • The authorities may ask – not order – to the inhabitants to avoid going out and to the facilities and shops non-essential to suspend their activity.
  • The State has in effect on the understanding and the civility of the Japanese.

From our match in Tokyo (Japan),

Japan takes a step forward in the fight against the epidemic. While many voices within the political class and the japanese society were calling for several weeks the government to strengthen sti response to the coronavirus, the Prime minister, Shinzo Abe, had to declare a state of emergency Tuesday evening for a month, in 7 of the 47 counties in the country to try to curb the spread of the epidemic.

The measure enables local authorities, under a law of 2012 as amended last month, the requisition of land and buildings within the framework of the fight against the Covid-19. The governors of Tokyo and the three neighboring departments, as well as those of Osaka and Hyogo (where Kobe is), in western Japan, and Fukuoka, in the south-west, will also be able to ask people to avoid going out and to the facilities and shops non-essential to suspend their activity. “Request” only, because it is not a containment, such as those in place in other countries, including France, has repeatedly said Shinzo Abe. The law does, in fact, no fine gold penalty for the offenders. The authorities will therefore focus primarily on the understanding and the civility of the Japanese, as well as on the social pressure, to enforce these measures.

The boxes have such as in Tokyo in five days

This arsenal of measures, little binding was mostly anticipated for its symbolic significance, in order to sensitize the population to the gravity of the situation. Because if the past two weeks, the government and several local officials, including the governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike, alertaient the risk of a sharp rise in the number of contamination and saturation of the health system, they do not seem always to have been heard. Images of stock-outs, temporary facial tissues and toilet paper in the stores, and supermarkets sometimes stormed at the discretion of the rumors of containment, meet the videos of groups picnicking happily under the cherry trees in bloom, train stations always bourdonnantes activity and trains are still crowded.

Japan, in spite of the figures are well below those observed in Europe and the United States has experienced since the end of march a significant increase in the number of positive boxes to the coronavirus identified. The bar of 100 deaths – including those of the cruise ship Diamond Princess – was taken Sunday in the country, which counts now more than 4,000 boxes. The situation is particularly worrying in large cities : in Tokyo, the boxes have such as in five days last week, to $ 1.116 Monday. Has doctor japanese treating patients with the virus in New York has sounded the alarm this weekend, considering that Tokyo seemed to be in the same position as the american metropolis there are two or three weeks, before that the population does not take the threat seriously. New York lamented Monday about 3,500 dead.

The state of emergency ” will send a strong message to young people “

One trend in particular is worrying the japanese authorities in the latest statistics : the strong presence of young generations in the new case of contamination. Of the 143 identified Sunday, nearly half of them for people under the age of 40 years, raising fears of a certain flippancy of youth in the face of the epidemic.

The governor Yuriko Koike has estimated that “the ray of displacement the wider youth likely plays a role in the spread” of the Covid-19, and called Monday to avoid a return to the campaign of the residents of Tokyo, to the limit. The persistence of the nightlife in a group is also pointing the finger. Two internal at a hospital in Yokohama, the one who welcomed the passengers of the Diamond Princess, have been tested positive for coronavirus last week, after having participated the previous days to several class dining and outputs at the karaoke with other caregivers, in spite of repeated calls to avoid the nightlife.

It is not always easy to reach those who have been in contact with the infected people : “young people do not answer the phone when you contact and do not remember,” complains year employee of health services of Tokyo in the Yomiuri newspaper. In addition to the announced closure of entertainment establishments, the state of emergency ” will send a strong message to young people “, stated the minister of economic Revitalization, Yasutoshi Nishimura.

No pubs, not the supermarkets

Concretely, the list of businesses considered non-core to which it will be asked to close their doors includes department stores, entertainment places (bowling, karaoke…), facilities to practice sports, cinemas, museums, or izakaya, the ” bistros japanese “.

Supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, or banks will remain, however, open, and public transport and taxis will continue to circulate. To support the economy in the face of consequences that are already heavy in the epidemic, the Prime minister referred on Monday a plan 108.000 trillion yen (918 trillion).


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