Japan’s capital Tokyo officially entered the fourth state of emergency on Monday due to surging cases of COVID-19.
This came just three weeks after Tokyo lifted its third state of emergency. The restriction measures under the state of emergency mainly target catering businesses. Restaurants are required to close before 20:00 and are also banned from offering beverages to customers in light of the new protocols, which will inevitably narrow their revenues.
The re-imposition of the state of emergency will inevitably affect the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The Greater Tokyo Area and Hokkaido as well as Fukushima prefectures have announced that the sports events in these areas will go forward without spectators. The proportion of events playing in empty stadiums will reach 97 percent.
The Japanese government has initially barred only overseas spectators from entering stadiums to watch the games, and then revised the decision of holding most competitions without audience. This unexpected scenario has smashed the expectation of the Japanese government to hold the Games in a “complete form”.
The Japanese domestic public opinions held that the government’s rush to lift the third state of emergency in Tokyo is for the sake of paving way for the Olympic Games.
But several members of the Japanese anti-epidemic expert team lodged opposition to the decision and warned that the epidemic situation in the Greater Tokyo Area could deteriorate in July. Now the experts’ worries have become a reality.