Japan to declare a State of Emergency: Abe and Koike in coronavirus U-turn

Japan to declare a State of Emergency: Abe and Koike in coronavirus U-turn

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, despite loathing to impact too much on the economy, will declare a state of emergency. In truth, Abe and Yuriko Koike, the Tokyo Governor, have not covered themselves well since the first known coronavirus case was known in the middle of January. Therefore, it is clear that Abe is finally relenting to mounting pressure based on increasing coronavirus cases being announced.

Of course, only a few weeks ago the same Abe and Koike were adamant that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be held. This was despite coronavirus entering Japan more than two months before. Hence, both Abe and Koike seemed to be distracted by economic issues and an obsession of ignoring the worst excesses of the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, the increased concern of Koike smacks of opportunism because it is a complete U-turn – while Abe is still focused on the economic angle.

It is known that limited coronavirus testing took place in Japan since the first known case in the middle of January. Likewise, the criteria were rather high and doubts persist over the lack of autopsies to investigate the true cause of many deaths. Therefore, while Abe and Koike did declare concerns and enact certain measures to counter coronavirus, the Olympic and economic angle seemed to take precedence.

Suddenly, like a coronavirus magnet to the Olympic postponement, the number of increased cases of this virus has been announced after a two-month hiatus. In other words, it seems that dampening the coronavirus reality was released after the Olympic postponement. Hence, many people in Japan must be confused by events because the pattern is certainly different than the vast majority of other nations.

Alas, after a recent upturn in known coronavirus cases then Abe is being forced to declare a state of emergency based on mounting pressure. While it appears that Koike took the opportunist approach of suddenly being completely focused on the coronavirus threat.

Reuters reports, As Japan faces a fresh wave of coronavirus infections and the government prepares for a state of emergency, medical staff say a shortage of beds and a rise in cases linked to hospitals are pushing Tokyo’s medical system to the brink of collapse.” 

However, the above statement seems bizarre if the true statistics are to be believed. After all, how can a few thousand of coronavirus cases and 85 deaths over two and a half months create such a situation?

Therefore, the sudden alarm of Tokyo’s medical system coming under an enormous strain sums up the estranged reality of coronavirus in Japan. Thus, while Abe looks set to declare a state of emergency, many people in Japan must be wondering about the hidden past shadows and why now?


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