Japan announced that it would expand and extend a state of emergency in Tokyo through May 31 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This decision comes a little less than three months from when the Olympic Games are scheduled to begin.
What separates this decision from other previous times that states of emergency have been called in the area is that the restrictions in place are going to be toughened, as the Associated Press reports. However, there is a drawback to that as the people in Tokyo have reportedly grown impatient with repeated measures implemented that keep things closed, especially as some see it as a way for the country to host the Olympics by any means necessary.
The country is coming off of "Golden Week," a string of Japanese holidays in late April and early May, where Tokyo alone logged 907 new cases of coronavirus infections. By comparison, the city reported 635 new infections in all last month, right when another state of emergency began.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is hoping to keep this state of emergency to a little over two weeks, but experts argue that it would require much longer than that to curb rising infections, which is time the country that wants to host the most famous international sports competition simply does not have.
Since the pandemic began, Japan has logged over 616,000 cases of coronavirus, and 10,500 deaths. The Olympics are set to start on July 23.