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Cabinet approves bill to enable Abe to declare coronavirus emergency

Japan PM to use powers when law cleared; local govt to take action needed

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would have to seek the advice of a panel of experts before declaring a state of emergency.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- In the latest escalation of measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the cabinet of Japan on Tuesday approved a bill that would enable Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency.

The move is the third measure adopted by the Abe government as pressure mounts to contain the epidemic before this summer's Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Two weeks ago, Abe requested schools to be closed and events canceled nationwide, following up with legislation to release 270 billion yen ($2.6 billion) in emergency funds to subsidize companies and parents for missed work.

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