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Tokyo-area governors seek broader powers to fight omicron cases

'Quasi-emergency' declaration from central government would allow tighter measures

Commuters wearing protective face masks make their way at a train station in Tokyo.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- The governors of Tokyo and three bordering prefectures on Monday asked the central government to permit stronger restrictions on social activity in the region to combat the rising number of coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant.

Japan could decide this week on the requests, which seek "quasi-emergency" declarations for the prefectures. Approval would authorize the governors to take steps such as asking restaurants to shorten operating hours.

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