Aug 01, 2020 16:47 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Aug 01, 2020 17:52 Asia/Tehran]
  • Japan's Okinawa declares state of emergency as COVID-19 cases soar

Officials in Japan's Okinawa region have declared a state of emergency due to explosive spread of coronavirus cases the majority of which have been detected among US forces based there.

Iran Press/Asia: Governor Denny Tamaki on Friday (Jul 31) asked residents to avoid non-essential outings following a record new daily addition to the southern island's total cases, the majority of which have been detected among US forces based there.

People in a popular tourist destinations, Okinawa have been asked to stay home for two weeks, Channelnewsasia reported.

“We're seeing an explosive spread of infections. We declare a state of emergency through Aug 15,” Tamaki told reporters, adding hospitals were being overwhelmed by the surge.

The measures are non-compulsory and without the aggressive enforcement measures seen in Europe, but similar requests from authorities have been widely respected in Japan.

Okinawa reported 71 new coronavirus cases Friday, bringing its total to 395.

US forces account for 248 of those cases, according to the local government, which has created tensions with local officials, including the governor who has said he was ‘shocked’ by the high numbers.

There are approximately 20,000 US Marines in Okinawa, along with thousands of more troops from other US military services.

Their presence on the island is a longstanding sore spot, with many in the region arguing they bear a disproportionate share of the burden of hosting American forces.

Japan has so far escaped the worst of the epidemic, with around 35,200 infections and just over 1,000 deaths since the first case was detected in January.

The number of cases has been on the rise since the central government lifted a nationwide state of emergency in May.  101/207

Read more:

Japan to lift virus ban on re-entry of foreign residents

Iran, Japan stress expansion of cooperation, fighting Coronavirus