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Japan Plays Catch-Up With Rushed Virus State-of-Emergency Bill

  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advances laws to empower government
  • Move feeds criticism premier has been slow to act in crisis
Bloomberg business news
Japan’s Emergency Virus Measures
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Two months after Japan confirmed its first case of the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is finally setting up a legal framework to let him declare a nationwide state of emergency if the outbreak worsens.

Like many of Abe’s responses to the crisis -- from restricting visitors from virus-hit areas to bolstering the local mask supply -- the introduction of the state-of-emergency legislation comes long after other leaders took similar action. The delays have fueled doubts over whether Japan is prepared to act decisively enough to manage the Tokyo Olympics in July, the world’s largest sporting event.