Japan declares COVID quasi-emergency in three prefectures hosting US bases

Japan has declared quasi-emergency measures in three regions hit by surging COVID-19 cases. Officials have linked the recent sharp rise to the US military bases in Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima. Total new infections are expected to exceed 5,000 on Jan 7, compared with an average of about 200 a day in December. Measures will go into effect from this Sunday (Jan 9) until Jan 31. This is the first declaration of quasi-emergency for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida since he took office last October. Mr Kishida’s predecessor Yoshihide Suga had eased all of Japan’s COVID-19 restrictions.

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