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Officials declare 3rd COVID-19-related emergency for Tokyo, other areas

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Officials declare 3rd COVID-19-related emergency for Tokyo, other areas
The Olympic rings are seen at the top of Mt. Takao in Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan on April 18. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

April 23 (UPI) -- Just months before the scheduled start of the Summer Olympic Games, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday declared a third COVID-19-related state of emergency for Tokyo and three urban prefectures.

The state of emergency affects the Japanese capital and the western Japan prefectures of Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto. It will run through May 11.

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Suga said the state of emergency was declared after requests from the governors of Tokyo and Osaka prefecture. It was also supported by health experts.

"By implementing stiff measures over a short period of time, such as requests to close doors temporarily, we will thoroughly control the flow of people and restrain a further spread of infections," said Yasutoshi Nishimura, minister in charge of economic revitalization, according to Asahi Shimbun.

The new emergency bars gatherings at large events and train and bus operators are asked to end operations earlier on weeknights, with reduced runs on weekends and holidays. Restaurants are asked to close earlier and stop serving alcohol and hosting karaoke. Retail stores other large commercial businesses will also be forced to close under the measure.

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The Summer Olympics, which have already been delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, is scheduled to begin July 23 and run through August 8. Two prior emergencies had been declared for Tokyo before Friday's measure.

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