— Published 17 May 2021

The state of emergency is gaining ground


Not very reassuring. Less than ten weeks before the opening of the Tokyo Games, the Japanese government decided on Sunday, May 16th, to extend the state of emergency to three new prefectures. The regions of Hokkaido, where the race walking and marathon Olympic events should take place, of Okayama and Hiroshima join the six other Japanese prefectures already placed under the state of emergency, including Tokyo and Osaka. This measure, intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, will apply at least until the end of May. A tenth prefecture, Gifu, could join the movement. The state of emergency in Japan includes earlier closing times for some facilities, the prohibition of alcohol sales in bars and restaurants, but also a strong incentive to favour remote working.