Japan expanding state of emergency to entire nation

Japan expanding state of emergency to entire nation
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially extended a state of emergency across the entirety of the nation on Thursday as officials warn that coronavirus infections in the country could be spiking.

In a tweet, the prime minister's office announced that Abe made the announcement at a meeting of his coronavirus response team, explaining that he would also seek to revise the cash payment of nearly $1,000 all Japanese citizens are set to receive amid the outbreak.

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“We have to do whatever it takes to reduce person-to-person contact by at least 70 percent and preferably 80 percent,” Abe said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“It is urgent to take steps to minimize the movement of people during the long vacation,” added Japan's economy minister, referring to the upcoming Golden Week holiday, according to the Journal.

Japanese health officials have reported relatively less coronavirus infections than neighboring China and other countries such as the U.S., but the number of deaths the country has reportedly more than doubled from 85 last week to 176 on Thursday.

There are now 8,626 cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Japan, according to Johns Hopkins University, while that number sat at just more than 3,600 last week.