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15 Apr, 2020 13:36

Japan wants citizens to cut interactions by 70% as Abe under pressure to hand out more cash

Japan wants citizens to cut interactions by 70% as Abe under pressure to hand out more cash

Japan urged its citizens on Wednesday to stay home as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under pressure to hand out more cash. Japan, which only tests people with symptoms of the coronavirus, has so far recorded more than 9,000 infections, with nearly 200 deaths, Reuters reports. Tokyo on Wednesday announced 127 new cases, with at least another 327 nationwide.

The government has declared an emergency in Tokyo and six other areas, including Osaka, with a goal to cut interactions between people by 70 percent. The measures include a request that people isolate and that businesses close, although there are no fines or penalties to force compliance. The government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, urged people to do everything in their power to help the government reach its target.

PM Shinzo Abe has come under pressure to add a 100,000 yen ($935) payment to every citizen on top of a $1 trillion economic stimulus package that includes a 300,000-yen payment to households whose income has fallen because of the pandemic.

“I’ve urged the PM to make a decision and send a strong message of solidarity to the public,” Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the Komeito party, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, said after meeting Abe.