Japan’s Cabinet approves bill on coronavirus

Posted 8 months ago by Yadab Devkota

Japan’s government has approved a bill which will enable the prime minister to declare a state of emergency over the new coronavirus if necessary.

The bill, approved at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, revises existing legislation which was enacted in 2012 to tackle a new type of influenza and other infectious diseases.

The revision will extend the coverage of the existing legislation to the new coronavirus for up to two years. The government says it needs to take thorough steps to end the spread of the virus as soon as possible.

The bill will allow the prime minister to declare a state of emergency should a rapid and nationwide spread of the virus seriously impact people’s lives and the economy.
The prime minister will specify areas and a time period to which the special measures will apply.

The declaration will allow the governors of designated prefectures to request residents to stay at home. It will also enable them to request or order the closure of schools and restrictions on the use of facilities where a large number of people gather.

The revised legislation will make it possible for authorities to set up temporary medical facilities on land and in buildings without obtaining consent from their owners, if necessary.

The Lower House of the Diet is set to start deliberations on the bill on Wednesday. It is expected to be enacted on Friday. The government hopes to put it into effect on Saturday.


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