Japan declares state of emergency in Tokyo ahead of Olympics
The state of emergency will run throughout the games.
Japan has announced a state of emergency in the country that will be in place until August 22 as coronavirus infections continue to rise in Tokyo ahead of the Olympics.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters that it would be in place throughout the Olympic Games, but did not give any details on the restrictions that would be in place.
The Olympics are set to start on July 23 after they were postponed from last year. however they is widespread opposition to the games in Japan as Tokyo has seen a rise in cases in recent weeks. Many have called for them to be postponed again or cancelled.
The Prime Minister said: "Taking into consideration the effect of coronavirus variants and not to let the infections spread again to the rest of the nation, we need to strengthen our countermeasures.
"Given the situation, we will issue a state of emergency for Tokyo."
It is set to be announced later on Thursday whether any fans will be able to attend the events.
The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the Japanese capital between 23 July and 8 August. The Paralympic Games are between 24 August and 5 September.
The BBC reports that the announcement was made after the organising committee of the Tokyo games met with the government and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach.
On Wednesday , Japan recorded 2,810 new cases , with 920 of these in Tokyo. Over the past 15 months the country has coped well with the pandemic, registering relatively low case numbers and a death toll of around 14,900.
However the vaccination rollout in Japan has been slow, with only 15% of the country's population having been fully vaccinated. There is also concern over the Delta variant first detected in India.