World

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe issues state of emergency for whole country

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced an expanded state of emergency for all of Japan, with the measure to take effect Friday and last until May 6.

Measure to take effect Friday and continue until May 6

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seen here on April 6, 2020, at his official residence in Tokyo, has issued a state of emergency that now covers all of the country. Abe's previous declaration last week only covered Tokyo and six other prefectures deemed at highest risk for the spread of the coronavirus. (Yoshitaka Sugawara/Kyodo News via AP)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a state of emergency Thursday for all of Japan.

Abe said the measure takes effect Friday and lasts until May 6, the end of Japan's "golden week" holidays.

He said the countrywide state of emergency is aimed at stopping cross-border movement of people and achieving as much as 80 per cent of social distancing "to overcome this national crisis in an all-out national effort."

Abe's previous declaration on April 7 only covered Tokyo and six other prefectures deemed at highest risk of infection with the coronavirus. He initially issued a stay home request only to the people in those areas, although he later expanded the measure to the rest of the country.

Abe also announced 100,000-yen ($1,308 Cdn) cash handouts to all 120 million Japanese citizens.

Japan has more than 9,000 virus cases and about 150 deaths.

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