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Japan imposes "quasi-emergency measures" in 13 prefectures from Friday amid surge in COVID-19 cases Updated: 2022-01-21 17:03:44 KST

Starting Friday, tighter rules, known as "quasi-emergency measures," will be in place for about three weeks in 13 Japanese prefectures, including Tokyo.
The decision comes as Omicron continues to drive record cases in the country.

"The government would like to place quasi-emergency measures in these 13 prefectures as urged by its local governors. Firstly, we believe local offices need to prepare further to be able to operate the medical system they've set up, secondly, put in place robust measures to contain the rising number of cases."

The new rules essentially allow each region to decide what measures to take.
But it's widely expected it will include limiting business hours at bars and restaurants.
Infections are spreading fast in Japan, with 46,200 new cases reported on Thursday alone.
Japan has been reporting fresh records for three straight days.
On the same day, Tokyo also posted another record high of more than 8,600 new cases.
While almost 80 percent of Japan's population is fully vaccinated, less than two percent have received a booster shot.

In a bid to contain the virus, Japan has been suspending entry of all foreign visitors from late November last year.
Many people have expressed discontent over this stringent virus measure… with some even asking Japan to 'Stop xenophobia'.
The Japanese government, however, plans to keep the entry ban on non-resident foreigners until the end of February.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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