Photo/Illutration Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura speaks at a news conference in Nagoya on April 9. (Masahiro Iwao)

NAGOYA--With novel coronavirus infections spiking here, Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura said on April 9 he has asked the central government to put his prefecture under a state of emergency.

At an emergency news conference, Omura also said the prefectural government plans to declare its own state of emergency on the afternoon of April 10.

Under that state of emergency, residents in Aichi Prefecture will be asked not to go out for nonessential reasons in the prefecture, in addition to the recommendation that they not travel to Tokyo and the prefectures of Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

If Aichi Prefecture, which includes Nagoya, is covered by a state of emergency issued by the central government, the governor can request residents to stay at home under the recently revised special measures law. It would join Tokyo and the six prefectures that were placed under the state of emergency on April 7 by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Omura’s decision to bolster measures against the virus followed Aichi Prefecture’s report that more than 20 new cases were confirmed each on April 7 and April 8. 

The new infections brought the overall total to 280, surpassing the overall totals in each of Saitama, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures.

If a prefecture is put under a state of emergency declared by the central government, the governor can implement measures restricting personal rights, such as requesting a halt to the use of facilities and ordering cancellation of events.

However, even if organizers balk at such requests and orders, no penalty can be imposed on them.