Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he plans to make coronavirus measures mandatory for the first time, punish rule violators and provide economic compensation as his government struggles to slow the ongoing virus upsurge.

In April, Japan declared a state of emergency but only requested that people stay home and business close, but after living with outbreaks since January, people have complacent about the pandemic and store owners have become less cooperative.

Japan has managed several outbreaks since January with health recommendations, wide-spread use of masks and aggressive contact tracing.

Japan has managed several outbreaks since January with health recommendations, wide-spread use of masks and aggressive contact tracing. Credit:Getty Images

Suga said experts are discussing the legislation to make coronavirus more effectively enforced and hoped to submit the bill for parliamentary approval “as soon as possible” next year.

Suga’s government has been criticised for delaying measures for weeks due to an apparent reluctance to hurt the pandemic-hit economy, with recent media surveys showing about 30-point decline in his support ratings since he took office in September.



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