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After Japan reported a record 4,520 new coronavirus cases on December 31, Prime Minister (PM) Yoshihide Suga announced that the government would consider declaring a state of emergency for the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area as cases climb and strain the country’s medical system, per Reuters.

Key quotes

“Even during the three days of the New Year’s holidays, cases didn’t go down in the greater Tokyo area.”

“We felt that a stronger message was needed.”

“Many of the new cases with unknown origins were likely linked to restaurants, and that the government’s latest request for restaurants in the Tokyo area to close at 8 p.m. – rather than 10 p.m. – should be effective.”