TOKYO • Tokyo found 102 new coronavirus cases yesterday, national broadcaster NHK reported, marking the fifth consecutive day of more than 100 infections, as the Japanese capital tries to fend off a resurgence without resorting to widespread business shutdowns.
The latest figure comes as Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike was elected to a second term in a landslide victory. After declaring her win on Sunday, she said that now is a crucial time to prepare for a second wave as cases jump to the highest levels in two months.
Ms Koike said she wants to avoid a broad request to shut down businesses, and instead take a more targeted approach focusing on certain industries and specific areas.
Night-time entertainment establishments like host clubs have been tied to the rise in cases, and Ms Koike has asked residents to refrain from going to such districts.
Mr Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan’s coronavirus response, has also called for greater cooperation from businesses, saying that nobody wants to ask for more closures and that the government is not considering declaring another state of emergency at this time.
Speaking after the first meeting of a newly formed panel of experts yesterday, Mr Nishimura said the country is going ahead with plans to further ease restrictions on Friday, opening the way for limited numbers of fans to attend professional baseball games and football matches.
Japanese officials have insisted that circumstances are different this time, with most of the new cases found in younger people who tend not to require hospitalisation.
Ms Koike has, however, urged Tokyo residents to avoid travel to other prefectures.
Nearby regions have seen cases increase over the past two weeks, and the rising infections are not limited just to Tokyo.
In Kagoshima prefecture in the southern island of Kyushu, more than 80 infections can be traced to one cabaret club.