Japan’s second COVID state of emergency: Five things to know

Japan’s second COVID state of emergency: Five things to know

‘Limited, concentrated’ rules to target Tokyo restaurants — with no fines for now

TOKYO — Japan’s coronavirus surge has pushed the government back into emergency mode.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared a state of emergency for the capital and surrounding areas on Thursday. The same day, Tokyo logged a record 2,447 infections — another big jump from 1,591 on Wednesday.

The emergency will kick in at midnight and is expected to run until Feb. 7. “I promise to turn the situation around within a month,” Suga told reporters.

This marks Japan’s second “soft lockdown,” after the first emergency was declared in April 2020. That one also lasted about a month.

Suga called for “limited and concentrated” restrictions this time around. The focus is on restaurants and bars, with schools to remain open. But the renewed curbs come just as coronavirus vaccines are tantalizingly close — leading many to ask why Japan is behind other countries in starting inoculations.

Here are five things to know.

What will this state of emergency entail?