TOKYO: Several regional governments in Japan have asked for a state of emergency declaration like the one issued by the prime minister to the Tokyo area to stem the surging rise in coronavirus cases.
The heads of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures in central Japan relayed their request to Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of coronavirus measures, in an online conference call on Saturday, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters.
There was no immediate decision, but the government panel of medical experts will study the situation, Yoshimura said.
Japan's state of emergency, which kicked in Friday for Tokyo and nearby Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba, centers around asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 p.m.
It lasts for a month but can be extended.
Gifu Prefecture announced its own monthlong state of emergency Saturday.
Other prefectures may follow suit.
Japan has recently seen more than 7,000 new cases a day, with Tokyo's daily cases topping 2,000.
Overall, Japan has confirmed more than 270,000 cases, including over 3,900 deaths.