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The Nikkei View

Japan stands at turning point in coronavirus battle

Government should not rule out further steps to fight outbreak and save economy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks with reporters about Japan's response to the COVID-19 outbreak at his official residence in Tokyo on April 6.   © Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finally moved Tuesday to declare a state of emergency, marking a critical phase in the country's fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

But while the decree has been much anticipated as the accelerating epidemic threatens to overwhelm hospitals, its limited legal power means that the declaration's effectiveness rests in the hands of the public.

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