U.S. warns Americans to leave Japan as COVID-19 cases rise fast

Ramy Inocencio

Tokyo — The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo has warned Americans of a "significant increase" in the number of coronavirus infections in Japan, and urged them to leave the country now unless they plan to stay indefinitely.

"If U.S. citizens wish to return to the United States, they should make arrangements to do so now," the embassy said in a notice posted to its website, "unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period."

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has called on the capital's 14 million residents to stay home this weekend, as she did last weekend. She lacks the power to order a mandatory, enforceable lockdown.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would need to declare a national emergency to give the governors of Japan's 47 prefectures the power to implement mandatory lockdowns, if deemed necessary.

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