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Governors message for the people of Fukushima(知事メッセージ)

印刷用ページを表示する 掲載日:2021年2月24日更新

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 18 February, 2021)

First of all, I would like to extend again my heartfelt sympathies to our residents who have been affected by the earthquake which occurred on 13 February. This earthquake has prompted municipalities to set up evacuation shelters in the Prefecture. As municipalities had to respond to this situation in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are running these shelters while fully paying attention to the prevention of infections by checking the body temperatures of evacuees, utilising tents to secure distance between people, etc.

While working with municipalities, the Prefectural Government will exert the utmost effort in restoring damaged structures and places and in rebuilding the livelihoods of those affected so that they can regain their normal lives as soon as possible.

Once again, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

As for the state of infections nationwide, there has been a downward trend since mid- January. However, in the 10 prefectures which have been subject to the state of emergency, medical treatment systems are still being strained as the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 remains high. Thus, the central government has decided against lifting the state of emergency which was planned this week.

On the other hand, thanks to the cooperation of our residents and business operators, the indicators, on which the alert levels for COVID-19 are based, have been improving in the Prefecture and the rate of beds being occupied has continued to be below 25 percent since 13 February. This has led to the gradual reduction of the burden on the medical treatment systems.

However, since the beginning of February, three clusters of infections have occurred one after another, two of which involve more than 10 patients each. If infections spread again in the future, it will put a significant burden on the medical treatment systems; and therefore, there is still no telling what can happen at this point.

With regard to accommodation facilities for patients with mild symptoms, we will stop accepting patients at Toyoko Inn Iwaki Ekimae from the end of February. Also, we have secured 60 rooms at Iwaki Prince Hotel and are preparing to start operations toward the end of February. We will continue to work hard to enhance the medical treatment systems while paying attention to the state of infections.

Going forward, it is important to work to gradually revitalize the local economy while preventing the spread of infections again and keeping the level of infections as low as possible. If we let our guard down and infections spread again, it will put a significant burden on the medical treatment systems and there will be a risk in not being able to safely provide medical services as well as a risk having negative impact on the local economy.

The occurrence of clusters of infections rapidly increased the number of patients, which was the main cause of the strained bed capacity in the Prefecture. Therefore, from 15 February to 31 March, we are implementing measures which focus attention on preventing clusters of infections.

First of all, I would like to ask the people of Fukushima Prefecture to refrain from travelling for nonurgent and nonessential reasons between and across areas which have been subjected to the state of emergency and other areas where infections have been greatly spreading. Also, please avoid restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places without thorough preventative measures in place.

Next, this is a request to the facility administrators and business operators. To prevent the elderly and people having preexisting conditions, those who are at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, from getting infected, I ask the administrators of facilities for the elderly as well as facilities for people with disabilities to confirm again the preventative measures and to check themselves if those measures are properly being taken using the check list. With the objective of informing young people and enhancing their education, I ask universities and specialized training colleges to be thorough in raising the awareness of young people about changing their behavior. Please remind students to refrain from taking actions that have a high risk for infections such as drinking with many people, participating in club activities in which preventative measures are not thoroughly taken.

Although this may cause a burden to our residents and business operators, I would like to ask you again for your understanding and cooperation.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 12 February, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Considering the alert level for infections of COVID-19 in Fukushima Prefecture was raised and corresponded to Stage 3, the period from 13 January to 7 February was set as the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture”. I requested our residents and business operators to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons and restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to shorten business hours. At the time when I made the request, two of the indicators, which demonstrate the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and accommodation facilities per 100,000 people and the number of new cases in the past week, corresponded to Stage 3. In addition, the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, remained over 60 percent at Stage 4 level. The medical treatment systems were on the verge of crisis.

After that, we have been seeing certain results in terms of the emergency measures, as the number of new cases and the rate of beds being occupied have been steadily moving to a downward trend. However, we needed to carefully assess whether the safe provision of medical services would continue to be maintained. Therefore, I decided to extend the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture” until 14 February at a meeting of the task force on 4 February last week.

Recently, a cluster of infections occurred at a medical facility in the Aizu region the day before yesterday on the 10th. The Prefectural Government is working to contain this cluster of infections at an early stage by immediately sending staff to the facility while receiving support from Fukushima Medical University.

On the other hand, thanks to the cooperation of our residents and business operators, the indicators, on which the alert levels for COVID-19 are based, have been improving and the rate of beds being occupied stood at 27.5 percent as of yesterday on the 11th.

Now, two of the indicators, which demonstrate the rate of all beds for COVID-19 being occupied and the rate of beds reserved for severely ill patients, correspond to Stage 3. However, both are showing an improving trend. Especially with the rate of all beds for COVID-19 being occupied, the situation is largely improving compared to one month ago. The rate is now at a low level of close to 25 percent which is at the lower limit of the Stage 3 range between 25 and 50 percent.

As we have comprehensively considered how the situation has been changing and that the number of new cases is moving to a downward trend, we have determined the situation of infections in the Prefecture has improved to correspond to Stage 2 and we will end the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture” on 14 February. These emergency measures have caused our residents and business operators serious trouble and inconvenience for about one month since 13 January. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one for your understanding and cooperation. Also, I would like to express my sincere gratitude again to the many healthcare providers who are cooperating in accepting patients or securing beds.

Although the indicators, on which the alert levels of for COVID-19 are based, have been gradually improving because of these emergency measures, it is important to prevent the spread of infections again and maintain this level as low as possible.

Now, although we have decided to end the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture”, it does not mean we will stop taking preventative measures. The occurrence of clusters of infections rapidly increased the number of patients, which was the main cause of the strained bed capacity in the Prefecture. A new cluster of infections was confirmed in the Aizu region this week, as well. If we let our guard down and infections spread again, it will put a significant burden on the medical treatment systems and there will be a risk in not being able to safely provide medical services.

Therefore, from 15 February to 31 March, we will be implementing measures which focus attention on preventing clusters of infections. Although this may cause once again our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, I would like to ask for your cooperation.

First, this is a request to the people of Fukushima Prefecture. When we analyze the situations where infections have spread in the Prefecture, it can be assumed that the infections first came from outside the Prefecture, then spread when people were eating and drinking together without taking enough preventative measures. Therefore, I would like to ask you to refrain from travelling for nonurgent and nonessential reasons between and across areas which have been subjected to the state of emergency and other areas where infections have been greatly spreading. Also, please avoid restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places without thorough preventative measures in place. In addition, I ask you to act prudently while keeping in mind the “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections.

Next, this is a request to the facility administrators and business operators. Many clusters of infections have occurred at medical facilities and social welfare facilities in the Prefecture since last December. To prevent the elderly and people having preexisting conditions, those who are at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, from getting infected, I ask the administrators of facilities for the elderly as well as facilities for people with disabilities to confirm again the preventative measures and to check themselves if those measures are properly being taken using the check list.

Also, considering the clusters of infections which have occurred up to this point, I feel that these messages have not been properly conveyed to the young people. Therefore, I ask universities and specialized training colleges to be thorough in reminding students to refrain from taking actions that have a high risk for infections such as drinking with many people, participating in club activities in which preventative measures are not thoroughly taken, and travelling between and across areas which have been subjected to the state of emergency and other areas where infections have been greatly spreading. I have read news reports that said the aftereffects of COVID-19 are also seen among young people. So please cooperate in raising the awareness of young people about changing their behavior.

In addition, I would like restaurants and other such places to continue to be thorough in taking preventative measures based on the guidelines.

I would sincerely like to ask all of you to understand and cooperate in order to guarantee the results of your engagement and efforts up to this point as well as to protect the lives and health of the people, and the medical treatment systems.

Finally, I would like to talk about maintaining and revitalizing the local economy. While considering the state of infections, I am planning to gradually restart the suspended campaign for the advance purchase tickets for restaurants and Kenminwari or hotel discounts exclusively for the people of Fukushima. On the premise that thorough preventative measures will be taken, we will work to ensure the maintenance and revitalization of the local economy.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 4 February, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

The day before yesterday, the central government has decided to extend the state of emergency in 10 prefectures except for Tochigi Prefecture for one month based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. While the number of new cases nationwide is moving to a downward trend, the number of severely ill patients hovers around 1,000 per day, which shows that we remain in a difficult situation of COVID-19.

The number of new cases in the Prefecture hit a daily record high of 46 cases on 9 January, bringing the cumulative number of infections to a monthly record high of 779 cases in January. The rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, was over 60 percent. Additionally, the six indicators, on which the alert levels for COVID-19 are based, had been rapidly worsening. There was no denying that the medical treatment systems were on the verge of crisis.

Considering these circumstances, it was determined that the alert level in Fukushima Prefecture was raised and corresponded to Stage 3. Then, the period from 13 January to 7 February was set as the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture,” based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. I requested our residents and business operators to refrain from going out and restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to shorten business hours.

After the enforcement of these emergency measures, the number of new cases per week has been steadily declining, with 219 cases in the first week, then 160 cases and 72 cases thereafter. This is thanks to the understanding and cooperation of each and every resident and business operator, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to them. On the other hand, the rate of beds being occupied has been gradually decreasing after peaking at 66.5 percent on 15 January, and now the rate stands at 38.2 percent (as of 3 February). Currently, when combined with the rate of beds reserved for severely ill patients, two of the indicators are at Stage 3.

In addition to the number of new cases moving to a downward trend, the rate of beds being occupied has been improving. However, we need to carefully assess whether the safe provision of medical services will continue to be maintained after the state of emergency is lifted without having the beds be strained again for a short period of time.

Therefore, the Fukushima Prefectural Government has decided to extend the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture” for one week until 14 February. Although this may cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, I would like to ask you again for your understanding and cooperation to prevent the spread of infections.

I ask our residents to refrain from travelling for nonurgent and nonessential reasons between and across areas which have been subject to the state of emergency and other areas including the 10 prefectures where infections have been greatly spreading. Also, I ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons even in the Prefecture, and especially be thorough in refraining from going out after 8:00 p.m. I ask restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to refrain from having their businesses open from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day as well as stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m.

We will extend the period of providing a “cash payment for the cooperation in preventing the spread of COVID-19” to businesses which continue to cooperate with the request. Also, this time, we have decided to start providing a temporary financial relief fund during the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture”. This is to support business operators whose sales have decreased due to being impacted by the shortening hours of businesses with which they have relationships as well as business operators who have declining sales due to being directly impacted by the request which asks residents to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.

Along with these emergency measures, I would like to ask you to make further efforts to prevent the spread of infections by thoroughly following the “New Lifestyle” such as always wearing a mask when talking. As for daily activities, please act prudently while sufficiently keeping in mind the “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections.

Thanks to the cooperation of our residents and business operators, we are seeing certain results in terms of the emergency measures. I would sincerely like to ask all of you to cooperate to ensure the results of your engagement and efforts up to this point as well as to protect the lives and health of the people, and the medical treatment systems.

Considering the circumstances where medical treatment systems are being strained, the Fukushima Prefectural Government has secured a total of 244 rooms in accommodation facilities with 24 rooms at another facility which we will start operations in Aizu Wakamatsu City. This is in addition to operations which have started in Koriyama City at the end of last month. By the end of February, we are preparing to start accepting patients in Aizu Wakamatsu City. As a result, the use of accommodation facilities will be available in all areas of the Coastal, Central and Aizu regions. I hope that this will lead to reducing the burden of transportation for patients and smooth coordination of accepting patients to those facilities.

We have also organised a support system and other measures to secure beds which are immediately available so that patients can be accepted to medical facilities even a little easier. As a result, with the cooperation of many medical institutions, we were able to increase the number of beds from 350 to 391 today. On the other hand, the situation remains at a level where the maintenance of both emergency and routine medical care is being affected. Therefore, in order to reduce the burden on the medical treatment systems, we will continue to work hard to ensure the use of accommodation facilities and wide-area coordination in accepting patients. We will also continue prefecture-wide preventative measures.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 28 January, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures. Especially, I would like to express my gratitude again to the restaurants and other such places for cooperating in shortening business hours as well as to the business operators who have business relationships with those restaurants for dealing with the difficult situation in business.

While the daily number of new cases nationwide has continued to increase and decrease since the 8th this month with about 8,000 (7,876) cases, there has been a gradual downward trend with less than 3,000 (2,775) new cases being confirmed on the 25th.  However, the number of severely ill patients remains over 1,000 per day which shows that we remain in a difficult situation of COVID-19.

Fukushima Prefecture also has seen a certain improving trend in the number of new cases since 13 January, when the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture” was set, thanks to our residents and business operators’ understanding and cooperation. On the other hand, as a large scale cluster of infections occurred at a facility for the elderly in Minami-Aizu area, where cases had not been confirmed much, there is still no telling what can happen at this point.

The rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, is over 50 percent, which is a criterion for stage 4. Among this, the rate of immediately available beds being occupied surpassed over 70 percent. Also, on the 22nd, for the 42 beds reserved for severely ill patients, the rate of beds being occupied surpassed over 25 percent for the first time, which is a criterion for stage 3. This shows that we are still in a serious situation which puts a significant burden on the medical treatment systems.

So, we have secured a total of 220 rooms in accommodation facilities in the Prefecture, including one facility which we started operating in Koriyama City yesterday on the 27th.

Regarding patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, if they are deemed not to develop serious symptoms, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will work to ensure the active utilization of these facilities. Also, if patients have family reasons such as child rearing or are in a situation which requires consideration in the accommodation facilities, and if they are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, they are allowed to recuperate at home as a provisional or temporary measure. The stay-at-home recuperation is being managed by public health centres who will absolutely make sure that the health of these patients is all right.

Considering these difficult circumstances, the Prefectural Government has set the period until 7 February as the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture”. I have asked everyone in the Prefecture to take the following two actions. I ask residents of Fukushima to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons. Also, I request restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to shorten business hours during nighttime. Although these requests may cause you trouble and inconvenience, I would like to ask you again to continue your cooperation.

We have seen the increase of new cases in the Prefecture as well as the whole country at facilities for the elderly and nursing care service facilities including the occurrence of clusters of infections. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to workers who have been working hard to deal with the situation at those facilities. I would like to ask again the workers at each facility to check and thoroughly take preventative measures based on the notices and checklists we have provided.

In addition, as we are heading towards the peak season for taking entrance exams, I think many students will be traveling outside the Prefecture. Although they are in a difficult situation, I sincerely hope those students will be able to do their best. If you, as well as students taking entrance exams, travel between and across areas which have been subject to the state of emergency and other areas, please take preventative measures thoroughly such as wearing a mask when in those areas. I also ask you to thoroughly observe your health condition for the two weeks since returning to Fukushima and if you feel abnormal in your condition, please consult with your family doctor or consultation hotlines (Jyushin-Sodan-Senta) immediately.

In Fukushima, we are now in a crucial stage of containing the spread of infections. I would sincerely like to ask people and business operators in Fukushima to cooperate in protecting the lives and health of people and preventing the medical treatment systems from collapsing.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 21 January, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

As for the state of infections nationwide, there has not been a considerable decrease in the number of new cases in the areas under the state of emergency such as Tokyo Metropolis and Kanagawa and Osaka prefectures. Many new cases have been confirmed every day elsewhere around the country. Also, the spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable as the nation’s daily death toll from the virus exceeded 100 for the first time on the 19th this week.
Fukushima Prefecture also has not seen signs of COVID-19 being contained. The number of new cases in January has reached 578 as of yesterday on the 20th surpassing the monthly record high of 455 cases in about half a month. The cumulative number of infections topped 1,500, or 1,534 to be exact.
Also, the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, remains at a very high level of around 60 percent. Among this, the number of beds which are immediately available is 350 as of today; however, the rate of beds being occupied is about 80%, which indicates that the bed capacity is being strained. This shows that we are in a serious situation which puts a significant burden on the medical treatment systems.

Considering these difficult circumstances, the Prefectural Government has set the period from 13 January to 7 February as the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture,” covering the entire prefecture. During this period, I would like to make two requests for cooperation in preventing the spread of infections based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. Although most of you have already been cooperating, I would like to ask residents of Fukushima and business operators again for their cooperation in the prefectural emergency measures.

First, this is a request to the people of Fukushima Prefecture. I ask you to refrain from traveling for nonurgent and nonessential reasons between and across areas which have been subject to the state of emergency and other areas where infections have been greatly spreading. Also, I ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons even in the Prefecture, and especially be thorough in refraining from going out after 8:00 p.m.

Second, this is a request to business operators. I request restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to refrain from having their businesses open from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day as well as stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m.

Along with these emergency measures, I would like to ask you to make further efforts to prevent the spread of infections by thoroughly following the “New Lifestyle” such as always wearing a mask when talking. As for daily activities, please act prudently while sufficiently keeping in mind the “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections.
In Fukushima, we are now in a crucial stage and critical juncture of containing the spread of infections. Although these requests may cause people and business operators in Fukushima trouble and inconvenience, I would sincerely like to ask each and every one of us to cooperate in protecting the lives and health of people and preventing the medical treatment systems from collapsing.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 15 January, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

The spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable nationwide. On 13 January, the central government has declared the state of emergency based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response for seven prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu, Fukuoka and Tochigi until 7 February, after it was declared for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures in the Kanto region on 7 January.

As for the state of infections in the Prefecture, the spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable as 23 new cases were confirmed on 12 January, 38 cases on the 13th, and 36 cases yesterday on the 14th. Also, the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, remains at a very high level in the range of 60 percent.

Among this, the number of beds which are immediately available is 348 as of today; however, the rate of beds being occupied is approaching 90%, which means that we are operating near full capacity of beds. I have to say that the medical treatment systems are still in the midst of the crisis.

Considering these difficult circumstances, the Prefectural Government has set the period from 13 January to 7 February as the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture,” covering the entire prefecture. During this period, I would like to make two requests for cooperation in preventing the spread of infections based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. Although most of you have already been cooperating, I would like to ask residents of Fukushima and business operators again for their cooperation in the prefectural emergency measures.

 

First, this is a request to the people of Fukushima Prefecture. Until 7 February, I ask you to refrain from traveling for nonurgent and nonessential reasons between and across areas which have been subject to the state of emergency and other areas where infections have been greatly spreading. Also, I ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons even in the Prefecture, and especially be thorough in refraining from going out after 8:00 p.m.

Second, this is a request to business operators. During the period from today to 7 February, I request restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to refrain from having their businesses open from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day as well as stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m. We will be providing a “cash payment for the cooperation in shortening business hours” to businesses which cooperate with the request.

Along with these emergency measures, I would like to ask you to make further efforts to prevent the spread of infections by thoroughly following the “New Lifestyle” such as always wearing a mask when talking. As for daily activities, please act prudently while sufficiently keeping in mind the “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections.
In Fukushima, we are now in a crucial stage and critical juncture of containing the spread of infections. Although these requests may cause people and business operators in Fukushima trouble and inconvenience, I would sincerely like to ask each and every one of us to cooperate in protecting the lives and health of people and preventing the medical treatment systems from collapsing.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients. This week, there has also been a case at a school in the Prefecture where some people contracted the virus while staying in the Tokyo metropolitan area to take part in a national competition. Although they paid special attention in preventing the spread of infections, they contracted the virus. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Tuesday, 12 January, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

The spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable nationwide and prefectures one after the other are hitting new daily record highs of cases, pushing the nation’s daily tally to hover around 6,000 to 7,000 cases. Considering these circumstances, based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, the central government has declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures in the Kanto region until 7 February. There is also preparations from the central government to expand the state of emergency to the prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, which indicates that Japan is seeing the number of cases keep increasing.

Infections have also been spreading at an accelerated pace in Fukushima. The number of cases hit a daily record high of 46 cases on the 9th this month, bringing the total number of new cases to more than 300 already in January. If this increasing pace remains constant, the number of new cases is expected to reach 455, the monthly record of December, in about half a month.
With the increase of new cases, the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, has reached a very high level in the range of 60 percent. Additionally, the six indicators, on which the alert levels for COVID-19 are based, have been rapidly worsening. I have to say that the medical treatment systems are on the verge of crisis.
Considering these circumstances, I am aware that the alert level in Fukushima is now corresponding to Stage 3 which indicates the “rapid increase of new cases and a phase in which measures are necessary to prevent the medical treatment systems from failing significantly”.

Since the end of the year and the New Year, new cases have been confirmed over wide parts of the Prefecture. In addition, during the last one to two months, there has been an increase in cases where infections are thought to have first occurred in situations involving eating and drinking and then spread at homes and workplaces. In order to minimize the impact on the local economy and stop the spread of infections at the same time, we need to intensively take stronger measures.
Therefore, the Fukushima Prefectural Government has decided to set the period from 13 January to 7 February as the “Period of COVID-19 Emergency Measures in Fukushima Prefecture,” covering the entire prefecture. During this period, I would like to make two requests to our residents and business operators to cooperate in preventing the spread of infections based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response.

First, this is a request to the people of Fukushima Prefecture. During the period from tomorrow 13 January to 7 February, I ask you to refrain from traveling for nonurgent and nonessential reasons between and across Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures which have been subject to the state of emergency and other areas where infections have been greatly spreading. Also, I ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons even in the Prefecture, and especially be thorough in refraining from going out after 8:00 p.m.

Second, this is a request to business operators. During the period from 15 January to 7 February, I request restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places to refrain from having their businesses open from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day as well as stop serving alcohol by 7 p.m.
We will be providing a “cash payment for the cooperation in preventing the spread of COVID-19” to businesses which cooperate with the request. The period of this request is set from the 15th, taking into account the period to prepare. For those businesses which start cooperating from the 13th, we will pay for that advance period; therefore, I ask you to cooperate as soon as possible.
Along with these emergency measures, I would like to ask you to make further efforts to prevent the spread of infections by thoroughly following the “New Lifestyle” such as always wearing a mask when talking and please act prudently while sufficiently keeping in mind the “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections.
In Fukushima, we are now in a crucial stage and critical juncture of containing the spread of infections. Although these requests may cause people and business operators in Fukushima trouble and inconvenience, I would sincerely like to ask each and every one of us to cooperate in protecting the lives and health of people and preventing the medical treatment systems from collapsing.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 8 January, 2021)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. They have been working hard day and night on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 to protect the lives and health of the people in Fukushima. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

The spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable nationwide and the daily number of new cases surpassed 7,000 for the first time yesterday. Under these circumstances, based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, the central government has declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures in the Kanto region which account for about half of all cases in the country. It will take effect today on 8 January and will last for a month until 7 February.
Infections are also spreading in the Prefecture. Last month in December, there was a monthly record high of 455 cases confirmed including 9 clusters of infections. Five of them occurred in situations that involve eating and drinking, which indicates that eating and drinking and conversations without wearing a mask are one of the major causes of the spread of infections.
Since the beginning of January, 184 new cases have already been confirmed and infections are spreading at a pace faster than last month. With the number of patients increasing, the burden on the medical treatment systems has also been growing. We are in an extremely difficult situation as the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19, which indicates the strained bed capacity, has surpassed 50 percent in the entire Prefecture.
Also, multiple new cases have been confirmed at restaurants in Iwaki City and Shirakawa City this month, and especially the cases in Shirakawa City were from a cluster of infections. We are concerned that the infections may still spread further.
Considering the increase in the number of cases and the expansion of infected areas, further caution is needed now in the Prefecture more than ever before.
The Fukushima Prefectural Government will work closely with various relevant organizations including the central government and municipalities to prevent the spread of infections, and exert the utmost effort in securing a testing system as well as medical treatment systems which include the utilization of accommodation facilities for patients with mild symptoms so that everyone can feel safe.

Considering these difficult circumstances, I strongly request everyone in the Prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, when you are going out, please thoroughly think about the necessity of the outing and act prudently.
Second, please avoid eating and drinking with people who are not usually around you.
Third, please do not have conversations without wearing a mask.

These are the three points which I request.

In Fukushima, we are now in a critical juncture. We can overcome COVID-19; however, it depends on the actions of each and every person. I urge you to take actions that prevent new cases of infections in order to protect your own life and those of your loved ones, prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed and protect our society.
Following the declaration of the state of emergency, I also ask you to refrain from traveling between and across Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons from tomorrow 9 January to 7 February. Even if you are planning to travel to areas other than Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures where infections are spreading, I ask you to carefully assess the necessity of that travel.

We will be having Coming of Age Day this weekend on 11 January. I would like to ask again young people including those who will be coming of age this year. Some think that young people do not develop serious symptoms if they are infected. However, young people need to be aware that if they contract the virus, they could put their parents, grandfathers, grandmothers and those who took care of them at risk. Eating and drinking with friends is fun and even more so when meeting them for the first time in years. However, please be patient at this moment and thoroughly follow the actions I have asked above. I would like to ask municipalities which will be holding Coming of Age Day ceremonies to thoroughly take preventative measures by observing the guidelines for holding events such as securing proper physical distance between participants. I also ask them to inform participants that eating and drinking before and after the ceremony, including online ones, should be refrained.
While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 25 December 2020)

(Regarding the requests to cooperate in preventing the spread of infections during the end of the year and the New Year holidays in Fukushima City)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

This month, the number of new cases has been surging with the occurrence of multiple clusters of infections at restaurants near Fukushima Station, year-end parties, medical facilities and other places in Fukushima City.
As a cluster of infections was confirmed among students at Fukushima University yesterday, we are concerned that the infections may still spread further. As of yesterday, 343 new cases have been confirmed since the beginning of December in Fukushima Prefecture, and 232 new cases or about two thirds of the new cases have been confirmed in Fukushima City.
With the number of patients increasing, the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 is suddenly soaring. The situation of the medical treatment systems in the Kenpoku area including Fukushima City is, in particular, extremely serious.

On 20 December, Fukushima City and Fukushima City Medical Association issued “Fukushima City COVID-19 Emergency Warning” and have been urging people in Fukushima City to thoroughly take preventative measures during the end of the year and the New Year holidays.
Also, yesterday, the Mayor of Fukushima City requested the Prefecture to take stricter preventative measures to contain the spread of infections in the city.
As of right now, we are in a crucial situation to prevent the spread of infections in Fukushima City. After being aware of the state of infections and how the situation of the medical treatment systems is extremely serious while also sharing this with others, people in Fukushima City need to take action.

So, I would like to make two requests to the entire Fukushima City for cooperation in  preventing the spread of infections during the end of the year and the New Year holidays.

First, I would like to request restaurants with hospitality services, restaurants which serve alcohol and other such places in Fukushima City to refrain from having their businesses open from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day during the period from 28 December to 11 January. We will be providing a “cash payment for the cooperation in preventing the spread of COVID-19” to businesses which cooperate with the request.
Second, this is a request to the people in Fukushima City. During the period from 28 December to 11 January, I strongly request each and every person to act prudently such as refraining from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as much as possible, refraining from having dinners with a large number of people for a long time and avoiding the congested period for Hatsumode (Visiting a shrine or a temple at the beginning of the New Year).
Furthermore, as the rapid spread of infections has been continuing in the Prefecture, it is important to secure the medical treatment systems during the end of the year and the New Year holidays; therefore, we have decided to establish a new system in providing cash payments for medical facilities which cooperate in admitting patients with a fever as well as assisting with other things.
Although these measures may cause people and business operators in Fukushima City trouble and inconvenience, I would like to ask you to cooperate while understanding the purpose of the requests to prevent further spread of infections and protect medical facilities and medical-related workers.

(Requests to the people of Fukushima)

The spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable nationwide and the number of cases hit a daily record high of more than 3,700 yesterday on the 24th.
As for the state of infections in the Prefecture, since the beginning of this month, the total number of new cases confirmed has been 343. This largely surpassed the total number of cases in October, which had a monthly record high of 135 cases. This shows that we remain in an exceedingly difficult situation.
In order to prevent the further spread of infections, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will work with various relevant organizations and in particular, exert the utmost effort to contain the clusters of infections in Fukushima City at an early stage.
Also, as the situation in which the burden on the medical treatment systems has been increasing, we are striving to secure a system where everyone can feel safe, including the gradual utilization of accommodation facilities for patients with mild symptoms.
Healthcare related workers have been working hard on the front lines without taking a break during the end of the year and the New Year holidays. The Prefectural Government has decided to establish a new financial assistance system and will continue working as one with medical workers to get out of this difficult situation as soon as possible.

Now, I would like to ask you the following. In order to prevent the further spread of infections, each and every one of us needs to be aware that the alert level has been raised one stage and have a strong sense of crisis regarding the situation in which large scale of infections could occur anytime anywhere; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.
Although it is difficult to reduce the risk of infections to zero, it is important not to cause clusters of infections as much as possible. Therefore, I would like to ask each and every one of us to be thorough in taking basic preventative measures such as wearing a mask and washing hands and following the “New Lifestyle”. Also, I would like to ask business operators to thoroughly take basic preventative measures in line with industry-specific guidelines to prevent the occurrence of clusters of infections.
From now on, we are heading towards the end of the year and the New Year, with more people travelling to and from places and an increase in human contact. I ask everyone in the Prefecture to pay attention particularly to the following three actions and quietly spend the end of the year and the New Year with family.

First, I would like to talk about having dinners. Clusters of infections have occurred in the Prefecture and the causes are thought to be due to eating and drinking with a large number of people and for a long time and having conversations without wearing a mask. When holding year-end and New Year parties, I would like to ask you to have them with a small number of people for a short time and if possible, with people who are usually around you. Also, please be thorough in taking preventative measures such as using restaurants that observe the guidelines and always wearing a mask when talking.
Second, I would like to talk about returning home. If you are returning to your family home, please thoroughly take basic preventative measures including avoiding the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “ Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, Especially in regards to travelling to and from areas where cases have been spiking, I ask you to carefully consult with your family members about the necessity of that travel. If you do return home, please try to avoid the congested period as much as possible by taking your New Year’s holiday on a dispersed schedule. If you have symptoms such as a fever, I ask you to refrain from returning home or travelling.
Third, I would like to talk about going out and visiting a shrine or a temple at the beginning of the New Year or participating in an event. I would like to ask you to check the state of infections for the area you are going to. For Hatsumode (Visiting a shrine or a temple at the beginning of the New Year), please try to avoid the congested period. Also, please avoid the “Three Cs” and places without thorough preventative measures in place and thoroughly take preventative measures such as wearing a mask.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them. 

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Wednesday, 16 December 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

The spread of COVID-19 remains unstoppable nationwide and many new cases have been confirmed every day especially in metropolitan areas and their surrounding areas. The country’s daily number of new cases surpassed 3,000 on the 12th last week for the first time and the number of severely ill patients is also increasing day by day.

Also, in the Prefecture, clusters of infections have occurred one after another since the beginning of this month. In addition, the number of cases hit a daily record high of 28 cases yesterday, bringing the total number of new cases to 157 in half a month. The number of cases has already surpassed that of October, which had a monthly record high of 135 cases and infections are spreading at more than two times the speed.

With the number of patients increasing, those admitted to hospitals have been increasing as well. The alert level for COVID-19 in Fukushima Prefecture has been raised to Stage 2 which indicates that “patients have been gradually increasing and the burden on the medical treatment systems has been accumulating”. The rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 is now over 25 percent. The burden on the medical treatment systems has suddenly been increasing and the situation is particularly serious in the Kenpoku area.

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have basically been subjected to hospitalization up until now. However, considering the current circumstances, regarding young and other patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, if they are deemed to not require hospital care by doctors after diagnosis, they will be accepted into the accommodation facilities immediately. The Fukushima Prefectural Government will work to ensure the gradual utilization of these facilities. We are striving to secure a system where everyone can feel safe through the proper use of hospitals and accommodation facilities according to the patients’ symptoms.

In order to prevent the further spread of infections, each and every one of us needs to be aware that the alert level has been raised one stage and have a strong sense of crisis regarding the situation in which large scale infections could occur anytime anywhere; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.

The fight against COVID-19 will still continue. We are concerned that once we neglect taking basic preventative measures, due to being tired from the measures and a lack of seriousness, the infections may spread instantly. It is important to continue following the “New Lifestyle” while thoroughly taking preventative measures such as securing proper ventilation and appropriate humidity levels during the winter season at home or at the workplace.

Considering the circumstances where infections are spreading nationwide, if you are planning to travel to areas where the risk of getting infected is particularly high, I ask you to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please avoid places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refraining from visiting places where we have seen infections spread such as at parties and dinners. Also, I would like to ask you to use the contact tracing app (COCOA) and keep track of your movement for the two weeks since returning to Fukushima to prevent the further spread of infections.

In particular, as we are heading towards the end of the year and the New Year, when many people are travelling to and from places, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about having dinners. In the case of the cluster of infections confirmed in Fukushima City on the 12th, the infections are thought to have spread due to eating and drinking with a large number of people and for a long time and having conversations without wearing a mask. When holding year-end and New Year parties, I would like to ask you to have them with a small number of people for a short time and if possible, with people who are usually around you. Also, please be thorough in taking preventative measures such as using restaurants that observe the guidelines, sitting diagonally across the table instead of sitting directly across from or next to someone and always wearing a mask when talking.

Second, I would like to talk about returning home. If you are returning to your family home, please thoroughly take basic preventative measures including avoiding the “Three Cs” and especially refrain from having dinners with a large number of people to make sure not to transmit the virus to the elderly and other vulnerable people. I ask you to carefully assess the necessity of that travel if taking such preventative measures is considered to be difficult. If you do return home, please try to avoid the congested period as much as possible by taking your New Year’s holiday on a dispersed schedule. If you have symptoms such as a fever, I ask you to refrain from returning home or travelling.

Third, I would like to talk about going out and visiting a shrine or a temple at the beginning of the New Year or participating in an event. I would like to ask you to check the state of infections for the area you are going to with the information provided by the local government and other organisations. Also, please avoid the “Three Cs” and places without thorough preventative measures in place and thoroughly take preventative measures such as wearing a mask.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them. 

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 11 December 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

As for the state of infections nationwide, the number of new cases hit a daily record high of more than 2,900 yesterday. Osaka Prefecture and Asahikawa City in Hokkaido are in an extremely difficult situation as the medical systems have become strained and the governors have requested the central government to dispatch nurses of the Self-Defense Forces, etc.

As for the state of infections in the Prefecture, a cluster of infections occurred in a restaurant in Fukushima City this month. In addition, another cluster of infections occurred in a company in Fukushima City where customers of the restaurant work at. The number of cases related to the two clusters of infections has reached 40.

Therefore, Fukushima City has decided to conduct PCR tests for workers of restaurants and other such places in the area where the clusters of infections occurred. For the workers of the restaurants who are subjected to the PCR tests, I would like to ask them to actively cooperate in taking PCR tests to prevent further spread of infections.
The PCR tests, which Fukushima City will be conducting, are expected to be on a large scale. However, implementing the tests immediately and taking necessary measures are prerequisites in preventing the spread of infections. In order to smoothly conduct PCR tests and other measures in Fukushima City, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will also coordinate with the city and work on giving necessary support.

In addition, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will work closely with various relevant organisations and exert the utmost effort to prevent the spread of infections. The government will continue to send public health nurses and other staff to Fukushima City to provide support in arranging hospitalisations and conducting epidemiological surveys. Also, from now on, with the cooperation of Fukushima City, on-site inspections will be conducted at restaurants and other facilities which were distributed “COVID-19 safety stickers”, demonstrating they are taking preventative measures against COVID-19.  

Since the beginning of this month, the total number of new cases confirmed in the Prefecture has already been 81 cases. The speed in the spread of infections has been way faster than in October, which had a monthly record high of 135 cases. Especially yesterday, the number of cases hit a daily record high of 17 cases. The fight against COVID-19 will still continue. We are concerned that once we neglect taking basic preventative measures, due to being tired from the measures and a lack of seriousness, the infections may spread instantly towards the end of the year and the New Year when many people are travelling to and from places. We need to have a strong sense of crisis regarding the situation in which large scale infections could occur anytime anywhere; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.

Considering these circumstances, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about traveling to and from areas where cases have been spiking.
Cases have been spiking especially in big cities such as Sapporo, Osaka, Nagoya as well as Tokyo Metropolis. If you are planning to travel to such areas, I ask you to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take preventative measures thoroughly and careful actions that protect yourself, such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “ Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.
Also, after coming back from those areas, please pay extra attention to changes in your physical condition as well as wearing a mask at home. If you feel unwell, please consult with your family doctor or consultation hotlines (Jyushin-Sodan-Senta) immediately.

Second, occasions for dining are expected to increase towards the end of the year and the New Year, however, I would like to ask you to avoid “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections as much as possible and pay attention to “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections” including going with a small number of people for a short time and wearing a mask while talking as much as possible.

Based on the occurrence of the cluster at the restaurant this time, I ask business operators again to thoroughly practice preventative measures based on industry-specific guidelines as well as wearing a mask and having proper ventilation.

Third, I would like to ask you to continue following the “New Lifestyle” and take measures at home or at the workplace such as opening windows for ventilation while being careful with the temperature of the room and keeping appropriate humidity levels.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. I would like to ask all of you to treat people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 3 December 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

COVID-19 infection has continued spreading nationwide and the number of cases hit a daily record high of more than 2,600 on 28 November. As cases have been spiking especially in Hokkaido, the Tokyo metropolitan and Kansai areas, and a part of Chubu area, we are concerned that the medical treatment systems could be seriously affected in those areas. The central government has deemed the three-week period from the end of November to 17 December as a crucial period to prevent any more spreading of the infection and urged more cooperation in preventing the spread of infections.

As for the state of infections in the Prefecture, there were 113 cases confirmed last month,  surpassing 100 cases for the second straight month after October (135 cases). Among them, the percentage of people in their 70s and older, who are at higher risk of developing serious symptoms, increased nearly two times to 23 percent in November from 12 percent in October. Although a large-scale spread of infections has been contained at present, eight new cases have already been confirmed since the beginning of this month. We need to be keenly aware that Fukushima Prefecture remains in a situation where a cluster of infections could occur anytime anywhere and there is a possibility of infections spreading on a large scale; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.

Considering these circumstances, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about traveling to and from areas where cases have been spiking.

From August to October, when the cases spiked in the Prefecture, an analysis was conducted on the main transmission routes of infections. According to the results, it is assumed that the infections first came from outside the Prefecture and spread at homes and workplaces here. Considering the situation where cases have been rapidly increasing in big cities, such as Sapporo, Osaka, Nagoya as well as Tokyo Metropolis, if you are planning to travel to such areas, I ask you to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take preventative measures thoroughly and careful actions that protect yourself, such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “ Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Also, after coming back from those areas, please pay special attention to changes in your physical condition as well as wearing a mask at home. If you feel unwell, please consult with your family doctor or consultation hotlines (Jyushin-Sodan-Senta) immediately.

Second, occasions for dining are expected to increase towards the end of the year and the New Year, however, I would like to ask you to avoid “5 situations ” that have an increased risk for infections as much as possible and pay attention to “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections”.

Third, I would like to ask you to continue following the “New Lifestyle” and take measures at home or at the workplace such as opening windows for ventilation while being careful with the temperature of the room and keeping appropriate humidity levels. 

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. Anyone can become infected with COVID-19. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are having a hard time both physically and mentally. In addition, their family members and coworkers, the healthcare related workers and frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 each have their own anxieties and worries. I would like to ask you to treat them with compassion. Also, I would ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against them.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 27 November 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

As for the state of infections nationwide, the speed in the spread of infections has been increasing. This trend is noticeable especially in Hokkaido, the Tokyo metropolitan and Kansai areas, and a part of the Chubu area. Further caution against the rapid spread of infections is needed more than ever in those areas. Also, as the number of hospitalized and severely ill patients has been increasing, we are concerned that the medical treatment systems could seriously be affected if this situation continues.

On the 24th of November this week, the central government has decided to temporarily exclude Sapporo City and Osaka City as destinations from the Go To Travel Campaign.

Also, the four prefectures of Hokkaido, Tokyo, Aichi, and Osaka are requesting restaurants and other such places, which are located in areas where cases have been spiking, to shorten business hours or shut down business.

As for the state of infections in the Prefecture, although a large-scale spread of infections has been contained at present, 102 cases have been confirmed as of yesterday since the beginning of this month. At this point, we do not think the Prefecture is in a situation where restrictions of the Go To Travel Campaign or shutdown requests are needed, however, we need to be keenly aware that once a cluster or other situation occurs, there is a possibility of infections spreading; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.

Considering these circumstances, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about traveling to and from areas where cases have been spiking.
From August to October, when the cases spiked in the Prefecture, an analysis was conducted on the main transmission routes of infections. According to the results, it is assumed that the infections first came from outside the Prefecture and spread at homes and workplaces here. Considering the situation where cases have been rapidly increasing in big cities, such as Sapporo, Osaka, Nagoya as well as Tokyo Metropolis, if you are planning to travel to such areas, I ask you to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take preventative measures thoroughly and careful actions that protect yourself, such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “ Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Also, after coming back from those areas, please pay special attention to changes in your physical condition as well as wearing a mask at home. If you feel unwell, please consult with your family doctor or consultation hotlines (Jyushin-Sodan-Senta) immediately.

Second, occasions for dining are expected to increase towards the end of the year. However, I would like to ask you to avoid “5 situations” that have an increased risk for infections as much as possible and pay attention to “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections”.

Third, I would like to ask you to continue following the “New Lifestyle”. In addition, as winter is coming, please take measures at home or at the workplace such as opening windows for ventilation while being careful with the temperature of the room and keeping appropriate humidity levels to more than 40 percent as a reference. 

Also, in order to clearly give information on COVID-19 to foreign residents, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will establish a hotline which is available in multiple languages as well as arrange consultation staff from 1 December. If you know people who have difficulties communicating in Japanese around you, please inform them that the hotline will be available.

Lastly, I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 19 November 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

COVID-19 infection has been spreading nationwide. Over 2,200 new cases were confirmed yesterday across the country, which is nearly 500 cases more than the previous daily record high. Considering these circumstances throughout the country, the central government has decided to extend the current restrictions on holding large scale events basically until the end of February next year.

On the other hand, for the state of infections in the Prefecture, we saw the number of new cases slightly stabilize at the end of October. However, since the beginning of this month, a large scale cluster of infections has occurred in the Prefecture. Also, 12 new cases were confirmed the day before yesterday, bringing the total number of new cases to 70 already. Cases have been spiking in big cities such as the Tokyo metropolitan area and Osaka, in Hokkaido, as well as in the prefectures near Fukushima such as Miyagi, Ibaraki and Niigata. This shows that Fukushima Prefecture remains in a situation where large scale infections could occur anytime anywhere.

Considering the state of infections nationwide, along with the central government’s decision and the state of infections in the Prefecture, we will extend the current standards such as limiting the number of participants at events, which are based on the “Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture”, at least until the end of February next year. 

Now, I would like to ask facility administrators and event organisers to take the following actions. As the season for holding various events approaches, I ask them to cooperate in reviewing the guidelines again and taking thorough preventative measures based on the guidelines.

Also, the Fukushima Prefectural Government has been providing consultation services for event organisers who are thinking about holding an event. I ask them to consult with the Prefecture beforehand when planning to hold an event which entails the movement of people around the country or having an event with participants exceeding 1,000 people.

Furthermore, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following actions. From August to October, when the cases spiked in the Prefecture, an analysis was conducted on the main transmission routes of infections. According to the results, it is assumed that the infections first came from outside the Prefecture and spread at homes and workplaces here. Considering the current circumstances where cases have been spiking in big cities etc., if you are planning to travel to such areas, I ask you again to carefully assess the necessity of that travel.

The central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 specified “Five scenes” that have an increased risk for infections. The panel also suggested “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections”. Occasions for dining are expected to increase towards the end of the year. However, at that time, I would like to ask you to avoid as much as possible situations where there is an increased risk for infections such as eating and drinking with a large number of people or for a long time and conversations without wearing a mask. Also, I would like to ask you to pay attention by having, to a certain extent, a small number of people, limiting the time as well as not speaking in loud voices.

Moreover, I would like to ask you to continue following the “New Lifestyle” and as winter is coming, please take measures at home or at the workplace such as opening windows for ventilation as far as the temperature of the room doesn’t go down even if it is cold, and keeping appropriate humidity levels to more than 40 percent as a reference. 

In addition, if you have family members who are not well or having underlying conditions, I would encourage you to talk with your family about wearing a mask as necessary even at home.

Lastly, I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 12 November 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

As for the state of infections nationwide, the number of cases has moved to upward trend since the beginning of October and this trend has been increasing further since the beginning of this month.

Many new cases of COVID-19 have been continuously confirmed in Tokyo, Osaka and Hokkaido, etc. In addition, the number of new cases confirmed in the prefectures near Fukushima such as Iwate, Ibaraki and Niigata hit a daily record high yesterday.

As for the state of infections in the Prefecture, we saw the number of new cases slightly stabilize at the end of October. However, since the beginning of this month, a cluster of infections has occurred at a group of specialized training colleges in Koriyama City. There have been 19 cases confirmed in this cluster, which is the highest number of cases for a cluster of infections in the Prefecture.

Koriyama City has been conducting PCR tests for about 2,000 people from the specialized training colleges, including students, teachers and other school officials, and currently the cluster of infections has not led to a large-scale spread of infections. However, we need to continue carefully observing how the situation will change. The Fukushima Prefectural Government will continue to work closely with Koriyama City  to contain the spread of clusters.

Fukushima Prefecture remains in a situation where large scale infections could occur anytime anywhere. We need to be keenly aware that once a cluster occurs, there is a possibility of infections spreading; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.

In response to the emergency suggestions made by the central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 which was held on 9 November, the central government presented “Points on preventing COVID-19 infections in cold situations”. The three following points are: taking basic preventative measures such as ensuring social distancing or avoiding the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, opening windows for ventilation as far as the temperature of the room doesn’t go down even if it is cold, and keeping appropriate humidity levels to more than 40 percent as a reference.

As winter is coming, I would like to ask you to continue following the “New Lifestyle” as well as to pay attention to ventilation and maintaining humidity levels when you are at home or workplaces. In addition, if you have family members who are not well or having underlying conditions, I would encourage you to talk with your family about wearing a mask as necessary even at home.

Also, occasions to eat out are expected to increase towards the end of the year. The central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 specified “Five scenes” that have an increased risk for infections. Those include eating and drinking with a large number of people or for a long time and conversations without wearing a mask. When you eat out, I would like to ask you to pay attention by having, to a certain extent, a small number of people, limiting the time as well as not speaking in loud voices while you are using the restaurants. Also, I would like to ask each restaurant to be thorough in following the basic “New Lifestyle” including ventilation.

Lastly, while we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), anyone can become infected with COVID-19. I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 5 November 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my gratitude to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Since the nation’s first case was confirmed in January this year, the cumulative number of new infections surpassed 100,000 nationwide at the end of October. When you look at the situation in the Prefecture, since the first case was confirmed on 7 March, the number of cases has exceeded 400 as of the day before yesterday on 3 November. While it took about five months to reach the 100th case, which was confirmed on 12 August, the speed of infections has been rapidly increasing since August. We need to be reminded that COVID-19 infections have been increasing in a short period of time and that our daily lives are being affected significantly. Under these circumstances, there were 135 cases confirmed in the Prefecture in October, which was the monthly record high. On the other hand, with two new cases in the final week of October (25 October - 31 October) having been reported, we were beginning to see signs of a decline in cases. However, since the beginning of this month, a new cluster of infections occurred at specialized training colleges in Koriyama City.

As for the state of infections nationwide, we are seeing many new cases of COVID-19 every day mostly in big cities, including the Tokyo metropolitan area. In addition, the number of new cases have been surging with the occurrence of large clusters in prefectures such as Hokkaido, Aomori and Miyagi.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), we cannot reduce the risk of infections to zero. Fukushima Prefecture also remains in a situation where large scale infections could occur anytime anywhere. We need to be keenly aware that once a cluster occurs, there is a possibility of infections spreading; therefore, we should take appropriate measures.

According to the results of the analysis on the infections which occurred from July to October, it is assumed that the infections first came from outside the Prefecture and spread at homes and workplaces here. Therefore, I would like to ask you to take basic preventative measures such as sanitising your hands and having proper ventilation even when you are at home or at workplaces. If you have family members who are not well or have underlying conditions, I would encourage you to talk with your family about wearing a mask as necessary even at home. Also, if you have even a slight change in your physical condition, please consult with your family doctor or consultation hotlines (Jyushin-Sodan-Senta).

Last month, the central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 was held and amid their suggestions, the panel specified “Five scenes” that have an increased risk for infections. Those include social gatherings with alcohol; eating and drinking with a large number of people or for a long time; and conversations without wearing a mask. The panel also suggested “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections”.

I would like to ask you to be thorough in taking preventative measures such as wearing a mask in situations that could increase the risk of infections and refrain from going out to places where preventative measures are not sufficiently being taken. I would like to ask for each and every person to act prudently.

Also, the National Governors’ Association held a meeting today and there was a message regarding people taking their New Year’s holiday on a dispersed schedule. As people tend to travel en masse during the New Year’s holiday period and create congestion, I would like to ask business operators to cooperate in allowing flexible holiday schedules so that  employees can have dispersed holidays. 

Moreover, as anyone can become infected with COVID-19, I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 30 October 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Since the beginning of October, there have been 134 new cases confirmed as of yesterday in the Prefecture and the number of confirmed cases has surpassed last month’s monthly record high of 92 cases.

On the other hand, if we compare the number of confirmed cases per week, while there were 52 new cases confirmed in the week from 9 October and 32 were confirmed the following week, eight were confirmed in the past week. We are beginning to see signs of a decline in cases.

Even in Koriyama City, where cases have been spiking, new cases of COVID-19 are showing a downward trend with two new cases being confirmed in the past week. However, Koriyama City will continue to have workers of restaurants near Koriyama Station take PCR tests. Also, while working closely with Koriyama City, the Fukushima Prefectural Government aims to prevent the spread of infections such as by holding an infection prevention seminar for workers of restaurants.

Also, in the Prefecture, new cases have sporadically been confirmed in municipalities where there had been no cases. Furthermore, large clusters of infections have occurred recently in prefectures such as Hokkaido, Aomori and Miyagi. Once a cluster occurs, there is a possibility of infections spreading on a large scale. We are still in a situation where COVID-19 has not been contained yet in the Prefecture. As it is still difficult to predict how things will change going forward, we need to continue carefully observing how the situation will change.

According to the results of the analysis on the infections which occurred from July to October, it is assumed that the infections first came from outside the Prefecture and spread at homes and workplaces here. Therefore, it is important to be thorough in preventing infections from spreading in families to social welfare facilities, etc.

I would like to ask you to thoroughly take basic preventative measures at home. In addition, if you have even a slight change in your physical condition, please consult with your family doctor or consultation hotlines (Jyushin-Sodan-Senta). Also, last week, the central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 was held and amid their suggestions, the panel presented “Five situations” that have an increased risk for infections as well as “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections”.

Those situations are the following: The first situation is social gatherings which involve alcohol consumption, etc.; the second situation is eating or drinking out for a long time or in large groups; the third situation is talking without wearing a mask; the fourth situation is communal living in a small space such as dormitory; and the fifth situation is switching places for break time and other purposes at work. In these situations, where for a certain amount of time, people take off masks and talk closely, they point out to the increase in the risk of infections.

Also, regarding “How to enjoy dining while taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of infections,” they suggested to use restaurants that observe the guidelines or if you drink, it is better to go with a small number of people for a short time and if possible, go out with people who are usually around you as well as drink in moderation.

I would like to ask you to be thorough in taking preventative measures such as wearing a mask in situations that could increase the risk of infections and refrain from going out to places where preventative measures are not sufficiently being taken. I would like to ask for each and every person to act prudently.

Also, recovering and revitalizing the local economy is just as important as preventing the spread of infections. The “Go To Eat Campaign Fukushima” will start next week on Monday, 2 November. It aims to support restaurants which are doing their best observing the “New Lifestyle” and agriculture, forestry and fisheries operators who are supplying the food. Restaurants can participate in the campaign under the condition that they take preventative measures; therefore, you will be able to use the restaurants safely. I hope you will purchase the Go To Eat premium coupons and support the restaurants in the Prefecture.

 Lastly, while we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), anyone can become infected with COVID-19. I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 22 October 2020)

Currently, there are over 70 patients who are hospitalized in the medical institutions. I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Since the beginning of October until yesterday, there have been 125 new cases confirmed in the Prefecture and the number of confirmed cases has surpassed last month’s monthly record high of 92 cases.

Particularly, in Koriyama City, 90 new cases have already been confirmed so far this month including clusters of infections which occurred at restaurants and a cram school. This number is almost three times higher than last month’s number of new cases (32 cases). This shows that we remain in a difficult situation.

On the other hand, although the entire Prefecture’s medical treatment systems are currently in a stable operating situation, the rate of hospitalized patients occupying hospital beds reserved for COVID-19 is approaching 20 percent.

In order to put a brake on these situations, there is an urgent issue to prevent the spread of infections mainly in Koriyama City. Following the results of the analysis conducted the other day by the Cluster Response Team from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Koriyama City will continue to have workers of restaurants near Koriyama station take PCR tests, and will take measures such as conducting PCR tests for staff at nursery facilities and facilities for the elderly around the station.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government will work closely with Koriyama City and various relevant organizations and exert the utmost effort to prevent spread of infections.

Now, based on the current serious situations, I would like to ask you again the followings.

Last month, the central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 was held and amid their suggestions, the panel specified seven situations that could increase the risk of infections. From these seven situations, please be careful of four of them which particularly important.

The first situation is social gatherings which involve alcohol consumption; the second situation is eating or drinking out until late at night or in large groups; the third situation is talking in large groups or without wearing a mask; and the fourth situation is socializing time after work and during breaks. In these situations, where for a certain amount of time, people take off masks and talk closely, they point out to the increase in the risk of infections.

Therefore, in areas where there are many cases, please be thorough in taking preventative measures such as wearing a mask in situations that could increase the risk of infections and refrain from going out to places where preventative measures are not sufficiently being taken. I would like to ask for each and every person to act prudently.

Also, in other areas, I would like to ask all of you to have a sense of crisis while continuing to take basic preventative measures and being thorough in following the “New Lifestyle".

Also, I would like to ask business operators to thoroughly practice preventative measures based on industry-specific guidelines for the prevention of the spread of infections. In addition, I ask them to actively make use of the stickers and posters which demonstrate that they are taking preventative measures as well as the contact tracing app (COCOA).

Lastly, while we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), anyone can become infected with COVID-19. I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 16 October 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Since the beginning of October until yesterday, there have been 94 new cases confirmed in the Prefecture. In just a half of month, the number of confirmed cases has surpassed last month’s monthly record high of 92 cases. Also, 15 new cases were confirmed yesterday which is the highest in one day. This shows that we remain in a difficult situation.

Particularly, in Koriyama City, 66 new cases have been confirmed in half a month, which is more than two times higher than last month’s number of new cases (32 cases). The speed of infections is rapidly increasing. In response to this situation, an analysis of the transmission routes, etc. was conducted by the Cluster Response Team from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Koriyama City.

According to the results of the analysis, it is assumed that the main transmission routes of infections since September include 36 percent of patients who are workers and customers in restaurants near Koriyama station, 22 percent of patients who became infected from family members, 10 percent of patients who became infected from being in close contact with patients in work places, and 19 percent with unknown transmission routes. The cases from the restaurants near the station as well as the cases that resulted from there comprise in total of 53 percent.

Following the results of the analysis, Koriyama City will continue to have workers of restaurants near Koriyama station take PCR tests, and will take measures such as conducting PCR tests for staff at nursery facilities and facilities for the elderly near the station area.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government will work closely with Koriyama City and various relevant organizations and exert the utmost effort to prevent spread of infections.

Based on the results of the analysis submitted by the Cluster Response Team, I would like to ask you the followings. Last month, the central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 was held and amid their suggestions, the panel specified seven situations that could increase the risk of infections. From these seven situations, please be careful of four of them which are particularly important.

The first situation is social gatherings which involve alcohol consumption; the second situation is eating or drinking out until late at night or in large groups; the third situation is talking in large groups or without wearing a mask; and the fourth situation is talking with coworkers during breaks and after work. In these situations, where for a certain amount of time, people take off masks and talk closely, they point out to the increase in the risk of infections.

In every situation, please be thorough in taking preventative measures such as wearing a mask. To contain the spread of infections, it is very important to avoid situations where preventative measures are not being taken or where taking preventative measures by yourself is difficult. I would like to ask you to be aware of the situation regarding the high risk of infections and for each and every person to act prudently.

Also, I would like to ask business operators to thoroughly practice preventative measures based on industry-specific guidelines for the prevention of the spread of infections. In addition, I ask them to actively make use of the stickers and posters which demonstrate that they are taking preventative measures as well as the contact tracing app (COCOA).

Lastly, while we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), anyone can become infected with COVID-19. I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 8 October 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Since the beginning of October until yesterday, there have been 34 new cases confirmed in a week in the Prefecture. Even though it has just been one week since the beginning of this month, the number of confirmed cases has been increasing at a pace faster than last month’s monthly record high. This shows that we remain in a difficult situation.

In particular, cases have been spiking in Koriyama City. In the past two weeks, 43 of the 55 new cases in the Prefecture were confirmed in the city as well as 30 of the 34 new cases were confirmed in the past week.

In Koriyama City, about a third of new patients confirmed since September are suspected to have contracted the virus at restaurants with hospitality services, etc. located near Koriyama Station. Koriyama City has decided to conduct PCR testing for these restaurant workers. While coordinating and cooperating with Koriyama City, the Fukushima Prefectural Government is striving to prevent the spread of infections.

There are things we can do to prevent the spread of infections. We should be thorough and continue to follow the“New Lifestyle”and in the case where wide-scale infections occur such as clusters, we should quickly figure out the infected areas and contain the spread of the virus. I ask you again to continue taking basic preventative measures such as wearing a mask, avoiding places where the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, avoiding situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as washing and sanitising your hands. 

Last month, the central government’s subcommittee on countermeasures against COVD-19 was held and amid their suggestions, the panel specified 7 situations that could increase the risk of infections. Those are: social gatherings which involve alcohol consumption, eating or drinking out until late at night or in large groups, talking in large groups or without wearing a mask, socializing with coworkers during breaks and after work, communal living, exercising which involve heavy breathing as well as before and after attending outdoor activities. In these situations which show places where the “Three C’s” easily overlap and people are taking off masks, they point out to the increase in the risk of infections. I ask you again to make sure to wear a mask and take actions that avoid the “Three C’s” in various situations of your daily lives. Please thoroughly take these preventative measures especially when you are in areas where cases have been spiking. In order to prevent the spread of infections from getting worse and move it to a declining trend, I ask you again to have a heightened sense of awareness as well as ask each and every person to make an effort.

While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), anyone can become infected with COVID-19. Under these circumstances, it is unfortunate that there have been cases of slander against patients here in Fukushima, too. Acts of identifying those infected and criticizing them on social media, etc. should never be condoned. The Fukushima Prefectural Government is running a consultation hotline for those who are victims of slander and since yesterday, has started a project to raise awareness for the prevention of slander through various media. We are the people who have been through bitterness and pain stemming from harmful rumours following the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster. That is why I would like to ask everyone again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 2 October 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

There was a monthly record of 92 cases confirmed last month, exceeding the August record of 72 cases. In August, new cases were confirmed in 14 municipalities, mostly located in the Central Region. However, in September, there were cases including a cluster of infections which occurred at a medical institution in the Aizu Region and new cases confirmed among those engaged in construction work ordered by the Ministry of the Environment in the Coastal Region. Extending over 17 municipalities, infections have been spreading throughout the region.  

When we look at the transmission routes of those infections, a certain number of confirmed cases in August are thought to have been caused by travelling to and from prefectures including the Tokyo metropolitan area. However, since the beginning of September, about 40% of patients became infected via unknown infection routes and close contacts of these patients make up about 60% of all patients. There has been an increase in the number of patients whose transmission routes are difficult to identify.

Moreover, new cases are still being continuously confirmed, with 10 new cases confirmed yesterday, bringing the total of new cases from the past week (25 September - 1 October) to 21 cases. I have to say that we remain in a difficult situation where large scale infections could occur anytime anywhere.

Under these circumstances, there are things we can do to prevent the spread of infections. We should be thorough and continue to follow the “New Lifestyle” and in the case where wide-scale infections occur such as clusters, we should quickly figure out the infected areas and contain the spread of the virus. With the expanding of the Go To Campaign and the upcoming autumn tourist season, there is a further increase in the comings and goings of people over a wide area.

I ask you again to continue taking basic preventative measures such as wearing a mask, avoiding places where the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, avoiding situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as washing and sanitising your hands. As we are still seeing many new cases of COVID-19 every day in big cities, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, please continue to be careful when travelling to and from such areas.

I ask business operators to create an environment where people can safely enjoy eating, shopping and travelling while continuing to follow the “New Lifestyle” based on the industry-specific guidelines. Also, the Fukushima Prefectural Government is working to hand out stickers to restaurants and other such places that are taking measures to prevent the spread of infections based on the guidelines. So, I ask of them to actively make use of these stickers.

In order to prevent the spread of infections from getting worse and move it to a declining trend, I ask you again to have a heightened sense of awareness regarding the increase of new cases in the Prefecture as well as ask each and every person to make an effort.

Lastly, I ask you again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 25 September 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

We are in a serious situation where 10 cases were confirmed as of yesterday, a record in the daily number of new patients in the Prefecture. Furthermore, since the beginning of September, a monthly record of 81 new cases was confirmed as of yesterday which exceeds the August record of 72 cases in the Prefecture. During this time, the first cluster of infections occurred at a medical institution in the Prefecture and several new cases were confirmed among those engaged in decontamination work in the Coastal Region. This shows that Fukushima Prefecture still remains in a difficult situation.

Although new cases of COVID-19 are showing a downward trend nationwide, in this situation where we have to live “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), we cannot reduce the risk of infections to zero. It is important that socioeconomic activities are being maintained and revived while simultaneously taking preventative measures.

It was reported that there was an increase nationwide in the number of tourists and people who used public transportation during the four-day holiday weekend. In order to revive economic activities, it is ideal to have people go on trips and use public transportation again. However, on the other hand, we have become concerned about the spread of infections due to the increase in person-to-person contact.

During this long holiday, if you have travelled somewhere or met someone who came from other areas, please carefully pay attention to your physical condition for one to two weeks. Also, if there are changes in your physical condition such as having a fever, please refrain from going out, including going to work or school, and instead, contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-SesshokushaSodan-Senta).

Also, with the easing of restrictions on holding events and the expanding of the Go To Travel Campaign, there is an increase in the comings and goings of people over a wide area. Therefore, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following two actions.

First, if you are planning to travel to areas where the risk of getting infected is relatively high, such as the Tokyo metropolitan area, I ask you again to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take preventative measures such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Second, if you spend time with family members or friends who have returned home/have travelled from such areas, please make sure to take preventative measures by wearing a mask and having proper ventilation, even when you are indoors or at home.

In order to prevent the spread of infections from getting worse and move it to a declining trend, it is very important for each and every person to make an effort. I ask you again to have a heightened sense of awareness regarding the increase of new cases in the Prefecture. In addition, please be thorough and continue to follow the “New Lifestyle”, such as wearing a mask and sanitising your hands.

Next, I would like to ask tourism operators to take the following actions. People working in the tourism industry have continued to thoroughly take preventative measures in their respective facilities based on the guidelines. At each ryokan and hotel, efforts are being made to prevent infections such as having alcohol-based hand sanitisers, taking guests’ body temperatures, changing the way of serving food, arranging seats to avoid people getting too close with each other, wearing a face guard and regularly sanitising the building.

While under these circumstances, traveling to and from Tokyo will be added to the Go To Travel Campaign from October. As the number of people visiting the Prefecture is expected to increase, please make sure to continue having a sense of urgency and show hospitality to visitors based on the “New Lifestyle”.

Lastly, I ask you again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their family members.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 17 September 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to our residents and business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures.

Meanwhile, there was a monthly record of 72 cases confirmed in August in the Prefecture. Even this month, there have been 56 new cases confirmed as of yesterday and one new case today so far. The number of confirmed cases has been increasing at a pace faster than last month. Also, several new cases were confirmed among those engaged in decontamination work in the Coastal Region and the first cluster of infections occurred at a medical institution in the Prefecture this month. This shows that Fukushima Prefecture still remains in a difficult situation.

On the other hand, for example, hospitalized patients currently occupy about 10 percent of all hospital beds reserved for COVID-19. With a sufficient system in place for testing and the securing of beds at hospitals, the situation has eased compared to the first wave of infections.

Under these circumstances where new cases of COVID-19 are showing a downward trend nationwide, the central government has decided to ease the restrictions on holding large-scale events.

In this situation where we have to live “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), it is important that socioeconomic activities are being maintained and revived while simultaneously taking preventative measures. Based on this perspective and as we consider the state of infections nationwide along with the central government’s decision as well as the state of infections in the Prefecture and lastly, the sufficient screening and medical treatment systems, we have also revised the “Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture”. From 19 September to 30 November, the limit of the number of participants at events will be eased according to the event details and based on the premise that thorough preventative measures will be implemented.

Now, I would like to ask facility administrators and event organisers to take the following actions. Business operators and event organisers are cooperating in taking preventative measures based on the industry-specific guidelines. With the limit on the number of participants at events easing, I ask them to review the guidelines again and properly reexamine their measures based on the revised prefectural prevention measures. Also, I ask them to cooperate in taking thorough preventative measures based on the guidelines.

Also, the Fukushima Prefectural Government has been providing consultation services for event organisers who are thinking about holding an event. I ask them to consult with the Prefecture beforehand when planning to hold an event which entails the movement of people around the country or having an event with participants exceeding 1,000 people.

Furthermore, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following two actions. The number of people travelling across prefectures is expected to increase during the upcoming four-day holiday weekend starting on 19 September.

First, if you are planning to travel to areas where the risk of getting infected is relatively high, such as the Tokyo metropolitan area, I ask you again to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take preventative measures such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Second, if you spend time with family members or friends who have returned home/have travelled from such areas, please make sure to take preventative measures by wearing a mask and having proper ventilation, even when you are indoors or at home.

In order to prevent the spread of infections from getting worse and move it to a declining trend, it is very important for each and every person to make an effort. I ask you again to have a heightened sense of awareness regarding the increase of new cases in the Prefecture. In addition, please be thorough and continue to follow the “New Lifestyle”, such as wearing a mask and sanitising your hands. Also, if there are changes in your physical condition such as having a fever, please refrain from going out, including going to work or school and instead, contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-SesshokushaSodan-Senta).

Lastly, I ask you again not to discriminate and slander against healthcare related workers as well as those who are countering infectious diseases and people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 10 September 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Even though we are still seeing many new cases of COVID-19 in big cities, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, the numbers show a downward trend nationwide as a whole.

Meanwhile, a monthly record of 72 cases were confirmed in August in the Prefecture. Since the beginning of this month, there have been 25 new cases confirmed as of yesterday and four new cases today. We have been seeing new cases consecutively for 25 days since 17 August, including three clusters of infections. This shows that Fukushima Prefecture still remains in a difficult situation. In order to prevent the spread of infections from getting worse and move it to a declining trend, it is very important for each and every person to make an effort. Therefore, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following two actions.

First, if you are planning to travel to areas where many new cases have been confirmed, such as the Tokyo metropolitan area, I ask you again to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take preventative measures such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Second, if you spend time with family members or friends who have returned home/have travelled from such areas, please make sure to take preventative measures by wearing a mask and having proper ventilation, even when you are indoors or at home.

I ask you again to have a heightened sense of awareness regarding the increase of new cases in the Prefecture. In addition, please continue to be thorough in following the “New Lifestyle”, such as wearing a mask and sanitising your hands. Also, if there are changes in your physical condition such as having a fever, please refrain from going out, including going to work or school and instead, contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-SesshokushaSodan-Senta).

Moreover, considering the current circumstances where clusters of infections have occurred in the Prefecture, I ask business operators and event organisers to review the industry-specific guidelines and take thorough preventative measures based on the guidelines.

Amid the new cases of COVID-19 being confirmed every day in the Prefecture, unfortunately there have also been cases of slander against patients here in Fukushima. While we are in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), we cannot reduce the risk of infections to zero. Anyone can become infected with COVID-19. We should not allow the act of blaming those who are infected. Acts of identifying those who are infected and criticizing them on social media, etc. should never be condoned.

On the other hand, I heard that a school teacher in Fukushima Prefecture became infected  but received letters of encouragement from her students. I believe being considerate to others like this is very important.

We are the people who have been through bitterness and pain stemming from harmful rumours following the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster. That is why I would like to ask everyone even more to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures by properly being vigilant of COVID-19. Also, I ask you again not to discriminate and have prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. Since yesterday, the Fukushima Prefectural Government set up a consultation hotline for those who are victims of slander. Please do not feel like you are alone and feel free to use this service.

 Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 3 September 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Many new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed nationwide every day. Fukushima Prefecture is also in a difficult situation, where new infections are continuously being confirmed.

The number of new cases being confirmed in August exceeded that of April, when the prefecture was under the state of emergency. This brings the monthly total to a record of 72 cases. Even this month, there have been seven new cases confirmed as of yesterday and two new cases today. During this time, clusters of infections have occurred at club activities, homes of the elderly with support services, and restaurants with hospitality services.

Since August, infections have mostly been increasing in big cities in the Prefecture. Two thirds of the new cases or 48 new cases in August were confirmed during the 11 days of 20 to 31 August after the “Obon” holiday. When we look at the state of infections, many of the cases are thought to have been infected by the virus while travelling to and from the metropolitan areas and then spreading it to their family members or coworkers here.

While the second wave of infections is said to be subsiding nationwide, there is no denying that Fukushima Prefecture is still in the midst of the second wave.

Currently, we have secured enough beds at hospitals for COVID-19 patients. However, in order to prevent the spread of infections from getting worse and move it to a declining trend, it is very important for each and every person to put in the effort in the next two to three weeks. I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following two actions as part of the important measures in preventing yourself from getting infected as well as preventing the spread of infections.

First, I would like to talk about travelling to areas where cases have been spiking, such as in the Tokyo metropolitan area. If you are planning to travel to such areas, I ask you again to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take actions that protect yourself, such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “ Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Second, I would like to talk about spending time with family members or friends who have returned home/have travelled from areas where cases are spiking. In this case, please make sure to take preventative measures, such as wearing a mask and having proper ventilation, even when you are indoors or at home. Also, if you have changes in your physical condition such as a fever, please do not go out and instead, contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-SesshokushaSodan-Senta).

I ask you to be closely aware of the fact that new cases in the Prefecture have been increasing since August. I strongly request you to continue taking preventative measures and follow the “New Lifestyle”, such as wearing a mask, avoiding the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”,   “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, sanitising your hands and having proper ventilation.

Since August, there have been three clusters of infections that have occurred in the Prefecture. Business operators and event organisers are cooperating in taking preventative measures based on the industry-specific guidelines. However, considering the current circumstances where clusters of infections continue to occur, I ask them to make sure they are taking thorough preventative measures and review the guidelines based on these measures.

There are new cases of COVID-19 being confirmed every day in the Prefecture and it is unfortunate that there have been cases of slander against patients here in Fukushima, too. We should not allow the action of blaming those who are infected. Anyone can become infected with COVID-19. Acts of identifying those infected and criticizing them on social media, etc. should never be condoned.

We are the people who have been through bitterness and pain stemming from harmful rumours following the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster. That is why I would like to ask everyone even more to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures by properly being vigilant of COVID-19. Also, I ask you again not to level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 27 August 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Many new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed nationwide every day. Considering these circumstances, the central government has taken into account the possible growing risk of infections associated with holding large-scale events. It has decided to extend the current restrictions on holding events. Based on the state of infections nationwide and the central government’s decision, we have also revised the “Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture”. We will extend the current standards such as limiting the number of participants at events to 5,000 or less, etc., until 30 September.

In addition, the central government's subcommittee on countermeasures against COVID-19 held a meeting on 7 August. They gave suggestions to the government regarding the likely situation of infection and the necessary countermeasures in the future. In the case infections surge in the Prefecture, we will take swift appropriate measures based on the actual circumstances of the Prefecture while referring to the subcommittee’s suggestions.

Meanwhile, when we look at the state of infections in the Prefecture, there has been 50 new cases confirmed this month, including some from a 5th cluster of infections. As of yesterday, there has also been new cases confirmed 10 days in a row. While the “Obon” and summer holidays are over, during which many people nationwide travel, there is still fear that the virus could spread further. Looking at the movement of those who were infected, it is highly likely they contracted the virus in other prefectures or while being in close contact with those patients. Considering these circumstances, I ask everyone in the Prefecture to take the following two actions as part of the current important measures in preventing the spread of infection.

First, I would like to talk about travelling to areas where cases have been spiking, such as in the Tokyo metropolitan area. If you are planning to travel to such areas, I ask you again to carefully assess the necessity of that travel. When in those areas, please take actions that protect yourself, such as avoiding places where the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “ Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and situations that involve speaking in loud voices as well as refrain from having parties and dinners.

Second, I would like to talk about spending time with family members or friends who have returned home/have travelled from areas where cases are spiking. In this case, please make sure to take preventative measures, such as wearing a mask and having proper ventilation, even when you are indoors or at home. Also, if you have changes in your physical condition such as a fever, please do not go out and instead, contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-SesshokushaSodan-Senta). As for the use of facilities and the holding of events, I ask business operators and event organisers to take basic preventative measures based on the guidelines such as asking participants to wear a mask and sanitise their hands. This is in order to prevent large-scale clusters of infections from occurring. Also, please make an effort to minimise the risk of the spread of infections by taking preventative actions, such as getting information about the participants in advance and encouraging participants to use the contact tracing app (COCOA) so that they can be contacted if infections do occur.

In this situation where we have to live “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), socioeconomic activities are being maintained and revived. At the same time, it is unavoidable that we will continue to have COVID-19 patients in the Prefecture. Every day in the Prefecture, there are new cases of COVID-19 being confirmed and anyone could contract the virus. It is unfortunate that there have been cases of slander against patients here in Fukushima, too. We should not allow the action of blaming those who are infected. They are also victims of this disease and anyone can be in that position. Acts of identifying those infected and criticizing them on social media, etc. should never be condoned.

We are the people who have been through bitterness and pain stemming from harmful rumours following the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster. That is why I would like to ask everyone even more to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures by properly being vigilant of COVID-19. Also, I ask you again not to level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

A Reminder:Prevention of COVID-19 (Thursday, 20 August 2020)

A Reminder:Prevention of COVID-19 [PDFファイル/204KB]

A Reminder During the “Obon” and Summer Holidays (Thursday, 6 August 2020)

A Reminder During the “Obon” and Summer Holidays [PDFファイル/89KB]

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 30 July 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

There has been a spike in COVID-19 cases elsewhere in the country since the beginning of July. Tokyo confirmed a single-day record of 367 new cases today, with the daily count surpassing 200 over the past week consecutively. In addition, Aichi, Osaka, Fukuoka and other prefectures reported new highs yesterday, pushing the nation’s daily tally to 1,242, the first-ever figure above 1,000.

Considering the circumstances where infections are spreading nationwide, the central government has decided to extend the current restrictions on holding events until the end of August.

In Fukushima Prefecture, one new case was confirmed yesterday in addition to the other new case having been confirmed over the past week. The widespread of infections in the Prefecture has been suppressed significantly. However, considering the state of infections nationwide and the central government’s policy, we have decided to extend the current standards such as limiting the number of participants at events to 5,000 or less, etc., until the end of August. I ask event organisers to continue cooperating in practicing preventative measures thoroughly and making an effort to minimise the risk of the spread of infections.

 I would like to ask everyone in the Prefecture as well as business operators to again take the following two actions.

First, I would like to talk about establishing the “New Lifestyle”. Traveling across prefectures is expected to increase with the upcoming summer holiday and people returning to their family homes. When you are traveling across prefectures, please exercise extreme caution and act more carefully by first checking the infection status in the prefecture you are going to. In addition, please avoid places where the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”,“Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”overlap. Please also avoid places without thorough preventative measures in place, etc. Lastly, take thorough preventative measures such as wearing a mask. When we look at the spread of infections nationwide, people in their 20’s and 30’s have a high percentage of becoming infected. In some cases, they contacted the virus at parties or dinner with friends, then transmitted it to their family members. So I ask people in this age group to be particularly careful when traveling across prefectures.

If you are planning to travel to areas where the risk of getting infected is high, please carefully assess the necessity of that travel. If you do visit such areas or if someone in your family is returning from those areas, please keep track of you and your family’s movements for the two weeks since returning to Fukushima. I ask for your cooperation with these efforts designed at minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Since cases are spiking nationwide, I ask everyone in the Prefecture as well as business operators to actively use the contact tracing app (COCOA) in order to quickly detect the possible contact of people infected and minimise the spread of infections.

Second, I would like to talk about preventative measures for the use of facilities. Considering the circumstances where clusters of infections are emerging across the country, I ask business operators to review and fully comply with the guidelines for preventing the spread of infections. In particular, some tourist destinations in the prefecture are becoming busy again with tourists. I ask operators of tourist facilities, accommodation facilities, restaurants, etc., to work on measures in creating an environment for tourists and residents to use these facilities with a sense of safety and security. These include using the Prefecture’s official website to create and display posters that show the preventative measures these facilities are taking.

While in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), we cannot reduce the risk of infections to zero. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government will work on additional measures that will help us adopt the “New Lifestyle” and gradually revive our socioeconomic activities at the same time. Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Wednesday, 22 July 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

As Tokyo confirmed a record high of 293 new cases of COVID-19 on 17 July, the governor of Tokyo is urging residents to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons over the four-day holiday weekend starting tomorrow. Additionally, Osaka Prefecture had 89 new cases on 19 July and more than 100 new cases today. In a similar vein, new single day records for new cases have been reported elsewhere around the country since the state of emergency was lifted.

In Fukushima Prefecture, three new cases have been confirmed over the past two months. Two of the individuals are thought to have contracted the virus in Tokyo and the other, in the Kansai region. While the spread of infections in Fukushima Prefecture has been significantly suppressed as shown in the small number of new cases, when we look at the state of infections in the country as a whole we see that infections are spreading heavily in large cities. We have to keep in mind that we are indeed in the situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19) and that we need to take preventative measures while simultaneously working on the recovery of the local economy.

Considering these difficult circumstances, I would like to convey two important concepts to the people of Fukushima that we need to keep in mind.

The first is a “sense of heightened awareness”. As infections are spreading again across the country, we need to be keenly aware that the risk of infection is always present around us. We expect to see more tourists in the Prefecture particularly at sightseeing facilities, accommodation facilities, restaurants and other facilities as they get a boost from the upcoming summer holiday and the national government’s Go To Travel Campaign. So, I ask business operators to thoroughly practice preventative measures based on industry-specific guidelines for the prevention of the spread of infections as well as check and confirm what type of clusters of infections have occurred in other prefectures and improve your preventative measures accordingly.

Also for our residents, when you are traveling across prefectures, I ask you to thoroughly check the infection status of the prefecture you are going to. It is important to exercise extreme caution and act more carefully. In particular, if you are planning to travel to areas where cases are spiking and the risk of getting infected is high such as Tokyo, please carefully assess the necessity of that travel.

The important thing is to stay aware of and pay attention to the state of infections in other prefectures, and where the clusters of infections are occurring and then take appropriate action. We put information about the number of cases by prefecture and reports on clusters of infections in other prefectures on our official website. I hope you refer to this information when traveling across prefectures.

The second concept to keep in mind is “buy local, eat local”. Restoring the local economy through regional economic circulation is also important in our efforts to prevent the spread of infections and revitalize the local economy simultaneously. I hope everyone in the Prefecture will take advantage of the various subsidy campaigns undertaken by the prefectural and municipal governments to pump up your hometown’s economy. For example, hotel discounts exclusively for the people of Fukushima, advance purchase tickets for restaurants, Fukushima Support Stamp Rally (collecting stamps at designated stores in exchange for local specialty products), premium shopping vouchers, etc. have been made available. Supporting your hometown’s economy by utilizing these initiatives is the goal, and it is a practical way to safely revitalize the economy.

As we remain in the difficult situation of having to live “With Corona”, I ask everyone in the Prefecture as well as business operators to continue to take preventative measures with a heightened sense of awareness and at the same time help shore up the local economy by promoting buy local, eat local.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government will consider additional measures that will help us adopt the “New Lifestyle” and gradually revive our socioeconomic activities at the same time. Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 16 July2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Tokyo has been confirming more than 100 new cases of COVID-19 every day, and according to news reports, the number hit a single-day record of over 280 today. Under these circumstances, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government raised its alert to the highest of the four levels and urged residents to refrain from visiting establishments that do not have sufficient preventative measures in place. They also requested business operators take thorough preventative measures such as checking body temperatures of their employees and sanitizing their facilities based on the guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The request was made in accordance with the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. The number of new cases has been increasing throughout Japan, with infections spreading out mostly from big cities in the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai region.

While the spread of infections in Fukushima Prefecture has been significantly suppressed, two new cases have been confirmed in the past week. The movement history of these two cases suggests they are highly likely to have contracted the virus in Tokyo’s metropolitan area or the Kansai region.

As we are gradually raising our socioeconomic activities after the lifting of the nation-wide request to refrain from traveling across prefectures, we need to be keenly aware that the risk of infection is always present around us and the spread of infections may very well occur again in Fukushima Prefecture.

Considering the circumstances nationwide, I would like to ask everyone in the Prefecture as well as business operators to again take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about travel across prefectures. When you are travelling across prefectures, please act more carefully by first checking the infection status in the prefecture you are going to, avoiding places where the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap and places without thorough preventative measures in place, etc., and take thorough preventative measures such as wearing a mask.

In particular, if you are planning to travel to areas where cases are spiking and the risk of getting infected is high, please carefully assess the necessity of that travel. If you do visit such areas or if someone in your family is returning from those areas, please keep track of you and your family’s movements for the two weeks since returning to Fukushima. I ask for your cooperation with these efforts designed at minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Second, I would like to talk about preventative measures for the use of facilities. Clusters of infections are emerging across the country and it is reported that many of them have occurred because thorough preventative measures based on the established guidelines were not taken including ensuring social distancing and having proper ventilation. I ask business operators again to review and thoroughly practice preventative measures based on the guidelines for the prevention of the spread of infections.

Third, I would like to talk about the holding of events. Even though I have eased the limit on the number of participants at events, I ask event organisers to cooperate in making an effort to minimise the risk of the spread of infections by taking preventative actions such as recording the names of participants and encouraging participants to use the contact tracing app (COCOA) so that they can be contacted in the event that infections occur.

While in this situation of living “With Corona” (Coexisting with COVID-19), we cannot reduce the risk of infections to zero. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

It is important that we continue to lead this “New Lifestyle” while working hard and making use of our ingenuity. Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 9 July 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Tokyo confirmed 224 new cases of COVID-19 as of today, a record high for a single day. Also, as a large-scale cluster of infections has occurred in Kagoshima Prefecture and infections are being confirmed elsewhere, we are seeing a rise in the number of cases across the nation. Moreover, new cases have been confirmed in areas where infections had been contained for a while and infected areas are expanding again. We cannot reduce the risk of infection to zero while we are gradually raising our socioeconomic activities after the lifting of the nation-wide request to refrain from traveling across prefectures.

The spread of infections in Fukushima Prefecture has been significantly suppressed with no new cases confirmed since 19 June. However, we need to be reminded that the spread of infections may very well occur again.

Considering the circumstances nationwide, I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about the travel across prefectures. Currently in Tokyo where infections have been increasing, cases are concentrated in specific areas and businesses. When you are travelling across prefectures, please act more carefully by first checking the infection status in the prefecture you are going to as you see in Tokyo, avoiding places where the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap and places without thorough preventative measures in place, etc., and take thorough preventative measures such as wearing a mask. When you have to visit areas where the risk of getting infected is relatively high or someone in your family is returning home from these areas, please keep track of where you or your family have been for the two weeks since arriving in Fukushima. I ask for your cooperation with efforts designed at minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Second, I would like to talk about preventative measures for the use of facilities. With the lifting of the request to refrain from traveling across prefectures, there has been an active increase in travel and exchanges taking place both in the Prefecture and outside of the Prefecture. In consideration of the fact that clusters of infections have occurred across the country, I ask business operators again to review and thoroughly practice preventative measures based on guidelines on measures to prevent the spread of infections.

Third, I would like to talk about the holding of events. As for the size of events, I have asked event organisers to limit the number of participants to 1,000 or less for both indoor and outdoor events for now. Considering the circumstances where the spread of infections in Fukushima Prefecture has been significantly suppressed, screening and medical treatment systems have been enhanced, as well as the central government’s decision, I will ease the limit of the number of participants to 5,000 tomorrow on 10 July following the initial policy. I ask event organisers to cooperate in making an effort to minimise the risk of the spread of infections by taking preventative actions such as recording the names of participants and encouraging participants to use contact tracing applications so that they can be contacted in the event that infections occur.

The response policy set forth in the Prefecture’s measures for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 will be implemented until the end of July. We will consider easing the restrictions on the size of events from August onwards in light of the state of infections and the approach being taken by the central government, etc.

Disasters caused by torrential rains are unfolding over wide parts of the country including Kyushu. I would like to express my condolences to those who have lost their lives in the disaster and offer my heartfelt sympathy to all those affected. Fukushima Prefecture also experienced a disaster due to heavy rains last autumn and is highly likely to be hit by large scale disasters in the future as well. I would encourage everyone to talk with your family about how to take preventative measures at shelters in times of disaster and about efforts related to the so called “my evacuation” initiative which helps you to always keep in mind ways to safely evacuate without thinking twice about places and routes in case of a flooding disaster including dispersed evacuation to a relative’s or an acquaintance’s home.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one people that show consideration and patience for each other, work hard and make use of our ingenuity. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 3 July 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

The spread of infections in Fukushima Prefecture has been significantly suppressed with no new cases confirmed since 19 June. This is thanks to the efforts of our residents and business operators to establish a “New Lifestyle” and prevent the spread of infections. I would like to extend my gratitude for your understanding and cooperation.

Meanwhile, when we look at the state of infections in the country as a whole, we see 107 new cases being confirmed in Tokyo as of yesterday. This is the first time since the state of emergency was lifted that the daily count has exceeded  100. Also, Tokyo confirmed an additional 124 cases today. This shows that infections are increasing mostly in Tokyo’s metropolitan area. We cannot reduce the risk of infection to zero while we are gradually raising our socioeconomic activities after the lifting of the nation-wide request to refrain from traveling across prefectures.

Considering these circumstances, I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about the travel across prefectures. When you are travelling across prefectures, please act more carefully by first checking the infection status in the prefecture you are going to, avoiding places where the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” overlap, and taking thorough preventative measures such as wearing a mask. Also, there are areas where the risk of getting infected is relatively high, with new infections continuously being confirmed. When you have to visit these areas or someone in your family is returning home from these areas, please keep track of where you or your family have been for the two weeks since arriving in Fukushima. I ask for your cooperation and effort in minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Second, I would like to talk about preventative measures for the use of facilities. With the lifting of the request to refrain from traveling across prefectures, there has been an active increase in travel and exchanges taking place both in the Prefecture and outside of the Prefecture. I ask business operators to continue to thoroughly practice preventative measures based on guidelines on measures to prevent the spread of infections.

Third, I would like to talk about the holding of events. The restrictions on the size of events are gradually being eased in stages. I ask event organisers to cooperate in making an effort to minimise the risk of the spread of infections by taking preventative actions such as recording the names of participants so that they can be contacted in the event that infections occur.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. Let us overcome this difficult situation by coming together as one people that show consideration and patience for each other, work hard and make use of our ingenuity. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in these matters.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Thursday, 18 June 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

In accordance with the Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture, which was revised on 27 May, restrictions on activities such as refraining from going out will be eased gradually every three weeks based on the epidemiological situation and the risk of the spread of infection in Fukushima Prefecture.

Even though one case of infection was confirmed today in the prefecture, the spread of infections in the prefecture has been significantly suppressed since 9 May and screening and medical treatment systems have been enhanced as well. The central government has also been accelerating its effort to prevent the spread of infections such as by establishing industry-specific guidelines on preventive measures. It will be fully lifting its restrictions on traveling across prefectures.

Following the central government’s decision, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will also lift its request to refrain from traveling between and across Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures in the Kanto region, as well as Hokkaido, from going out to restaurants with hospitality services, live music clubs and other similar businesses, and will gradually ease the size requirement for events.  

As we move ahead to the next phase, I ask everyone in the Prefecture as well as business operators to take the following four actions.

First, I would like to talk about the travel across prefectures. When you are travelling across prefectures, please act carefully by first checking the infection status in the prefecture you are going to and taking thorough preventative measures such as wearing a mask. Also, there are areas where the risk of getting infected is relatively high, with new infections continuously being confirmed. When you have to visit these areas or someone in your family is returning home from these areas, please keep track of where you or your family have been for the two weeks since arriving in Fukushima. I ask for your cooperation and effort in minimising the risk of spreading the infection.

Second, I would like to talk about holding events. I ask event organisers to make sure to secure enough space between participants by limiting the number of participants to 1,000 or less for both indoor and outdoor events. Also for indoors venues, participants should be less than half of the capacity of the venue. I ask event organisers for their cooperation and effort in minimising the spread of infections as well as to consider in advance how they will contact the participants if infections occur.  

Third, I would like to talk about establishing a “New Lifestyle”. It is clearly important to practice preventative measures such as avoiding the“Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” as well as wearing a mask, and observing social distancing. However, as summer is approaching, taking measures to prevent heat stroke is also important. For example, you could take off the mask if you are physically distanced from other people outside. I ask everyone to continue working in establishing the “New Lifestyle”.

Fourth, I would like to talk about tourism. The tourism industry is associated with a wide range of businesses and has substantial spillover effect on the economy. Revitalizing the tourism industry will lead to regaining the liveliness of the prefecture. Currently, there is a unique campaign happening in Fukushima to discount hotel charges; therefore, I would like our residents to first travel throughout the prefecture and actively participate in this campaign.  

Restrictions on traveling across prefectures will be fully lifted tomorrow. However, while we are gradually raising our socioeconomic activities, we cannot reduce the risk of infections to zero. We are still in a situation where COVID-19 has not been contained yet and the virus still remains present around us.

It is essential for everyone in the prefecture and business operators to make an effort in adopting the “New Lifestyle” to create a safe and secure Fukushima.

Moving forward, I ask for your continued understanding and cooperation in establishing the “New Lifestyle”. It is important to act accordingly to the changes in situations such as preventing heat strokes and keeping track of where you have been for two weeks if you have returned from areas where the risk of getting an infection is relatively high. 

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with consideration to others, your patience, hard work and ingenuity in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Wednesday, 27 May 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.
On 25 May the central government lifted the state of emergency which had been declared based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response in the Kanto region (Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo and Kanagawa) as well as Hokkaido. This result is thanks to the nationwide efforts to contain the virus through the adoption of preventative measures. The spread of infections in Fukushima Prefecture has been suppressed with no new cases confirmed since 9 May. This is thanks to the cooperation and understanding of our residents and business operators and I would like to extend my gratitude again for their cooperation.
On the other hand, we anticipate the battle against COVID-19 to be prolonged and the spread of infection may very well occur again. This means that it is still difficult to predict how things will change going forward.
In the policy announced the other day, the central government set a transitional period of approximately two months, lasting until 31 July. During this period, the epidemiological situation, and the risk of the spread of infection will be assessed roughly every three weeks. This will lead to the gradual easing of restrictions on refraining from going out, holding events, and the like, so that socio-economic activities can continue to be increased.
In consideration of the central government’s policy, and the state of infections in the prefecture, today we revised the State of Emergency Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture. Based on these revised measures, I ask everyone in the Prefecture as well as business operators to take the following three actions from 1 June to 18 June.

First, I would like to talk about establishing a “New Lifestyle” and other measures. I ask you to continue to thoroughly adopt a “New Lifestyle” approach where you need to continue to practice basic preventative measures such as avoiding the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” as well as wearing a mask, practicing hand hygiene including washing hands and observing social distancing. I ask business operators to promote efforts for reducing person-to-person contact during commuting hours including having staggered work schedules and encouraging workers to commute via bicycle. I also ask business operators to introduce and utilize measures such as working from home, teleworking, and teleconferencing in place of traveling for business.
In addition, until 18 June, I ask you to refrain from traveling between and across Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures in the Kanto region, as well as Hokkaido where the state of emergency was lifted on 25 May for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as much as possible.
While the following types of business have experienced clusters of infection in Japan, I have decided to lift the request to refrain from going to karaoke parlors, sports gyms and other such businesses, should it be deemed that a certain level of safety can be ensured through the thorough adoption of preventative measures.
In addition, I ask you to continue to refrain from visiting restaurants with hospitality services, live music clubs and the like, until industry-specific guidelines on preventive measures are formulated and thorough measures are implemented accordingly.

Second, I would like to talk about our request of your cooperation in the use of facilities. I ask educational institutions whose schools will fully resume on 1 June, and business operators to thoroughly take preventative measures in accordance with the industry-specific guidelines on preventive measures.

Third, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from holding events. I ask organisers to limit the number of participants to 100 or less for indoor events and to 200 or less for outdoor events, while taking proper preventative measures until 18 June. I will gradually ease these restrictions for events held after 19 June. Local festivals and other similar events can be held, as long as the event is expected not to attract people from across Japan or from over a wide area, and that the number of participants or attendees can be estimated, while proper preventative measures are taken. However, please respond prudently including canceling of the festival if these conditions mentioned above cannot be met.

Next, I would like to talk about measures for the economy and employment. We need to take prompt measures to support the Prefecture’s economy as various industries including accommodation facilities and restaurants have been dealing with an exceedingly difficult situation. We need to increase socio-economic activities in a phased approach for revitalizing the economy while controlling the risk of infections. 
To this end, in order to support everyone in the Prefecture who have been cooperating with our stay-at-home and shutdown requests, as well as to help boost the hotel and tourism industries in the Prefecture, we will be launching a campaign on 1 June to discount hotel charges exclusively for the people of Fukushima. This will come ahead of the formulation of the Prefecture’s supplementary budget in June and the national government’s Go To Campaign. Specifically, we have allocated a budget of 121 million yen for 20,000 stays which will provide a 5,000 yen discount for each stay costing more than 7,000 yen excluding tax.
We are considering additional measures with the formulation of the supplementary budget in June.

Lastly, while the state of emergency has been lifted in all prefectures, it does not mean a declaration of safety. It is likely that the above measures will need to be continued for an extended period of time in the battle against COVID-19. Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I hope each and every one of you change your daily habits in order to establish the “New Lifestyle”. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with consideration to others, your patience, hard work and ingenuity in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 22 May 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Just over one week has passed since the state of emergency based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response was lifted on 14 May. As for the state of infections in the prefecture, the spread of infections has been suppressed with no new cases confirmed since 9 May. This is thanks to the cooperation of our residents and business operators with our requests to take actions such as refraining from going out. I would like to extend my gratitude again for your cooperation. On the other hand, we anticipate the battle against COVID-19 to be prolonged and new clusters of infection may very well occur. This means that it is difficult to predict how things will change going forward. In order to prevent the spread of infections, I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about establishing a “New Lifestyle” and other measures. I ask you to thoroughly adopt a “New Lifestyle” approach where you need to continue to practice basic preventative measures such as continuing to avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” as well as wearing a mask, practicing hand hygiene including washing hands and observing social distancing. I ask business operators to promote efforts for reducing person-to-person contact during commuting hours including having staggering work schedules and encouraging workers to commute via bicycle. In consideration of the forthcoming prolonged response, I also ask business operators to introduce and utilize measures such as working from home, teleworking, and teleconferencing in place of traveling for business. I also ask you again to refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as much as possible, especially to avoid traveling across “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures). In addition, please avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and where the “Three Cs” overlap.

Second, I would like to touch upon the restriction on the use of facilities. For business operators and industry groups whose limitation of the use of facilities has been lifted and educational institutions for which the closure request will be lifted on 24 May, I ask you to continue to take basic preventative measures such as having hand sanitizer available, asking people to wear a mask and having appropriate entry restrictions and guidance in place, and also to avoid the “Three Cs” completely, while having proper indoor ventilation and observation of social distancing.

Third, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from holding events. I ask orgainsers planning to hold large-scale or nationwide events which exceed the predetermined scope to respond prudently by canceling or delaying those events in case it is difficult to take proper preventative measures. You can hold events other than those mentioned above, but please take proper preventative measures.

Lastly, it is likely that these measures above will need to be continued for an extended period of time in the battle against COVID-19. Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I hope each and every one of you change your daily habits in order to establish the “New Lifestyle”. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with consideration to others, your patience, hard work and ingenuity in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 15 May 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases.

Yesterday, the central government decided to lift the state of emergency for 39 prefectures including Fukushima prefecture ahead of the scheduled expiry on 31 May. Following the central government’s decision to extend the state of emergency to the entire nation on 16 April, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents and business operators to cooperate in taking various actions under the State of Emergency Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture including: refraining from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and to restrict the use of facilities. As for the state of infections in the prefecture, a significant increase in the number of new cases has been suppressed to 0 per day for six days in a row as of yesterday, with the cumulative number of new infections standing only at 1 for the past week. During this period, medical treatment facilities have also been properly secured, ensuring enough beds at hospitals for people who have tested positive and securing facilities to admit patients with mild symptoms. Considering these circumstances and the central government’s decision, I have decided to lift the requests made under the State of Emergency Measures for the Prevention of the Spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Fukushima Prefecture today on 15 May. The requests which were in place have caused our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience over the past month. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude again for your understanding and cooperation. On the other hand, we anticipate the battle against COVID-19 to be prolonged. While the emergency measures are to be lifted today, new clusters of infection may very well occur. This means that it is difficult to predict how things will change going forward. In order to prevent the spread of infections, I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture to take the following three actions.

First, I would like to talk about establishing a “New Lifestyle” and other measures. I ask you to thoroughly adopt a “New Lifestyle” approach where you need to continue to practice basic preventative measures such as continuing to avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations” as well as wearing a mask, practicing hand hygiene including washing hands and observing social distancing. I ask business operators to promote efforts for reducing person-to-person contact during commuting hours including having staggering work schedules and encouraging workers to commute via bicycle. In consideration of the forthcoming prolonged response, I also ask business operators to introduce and utilize working from home, teleworking, and teleconferencing measures in place of traveling for business. I also ask you to refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as much as possible, especially to avoid traveling across “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures). In addition, please avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and where the “Three Cs” overlap.

Second, I would like to touch upon the restriction on the use of facilities. Following the lifting of the emergency measures, I declare the lifting of our requests to cooperate in restricting the use of facilities except for kindergartens, elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special needs schools. The lifting of requests includes the request for reducing opening hours of restaurants and other such businesses. I ask schools to fully resume classes on 1 June. As preparations for this are necessary, I will lift the school-closure request on 24 May so that schools can reopen in stages from Monday, 25 May. Also, following a request I made at a meeting of the task force on 5 May, I have received a report from the superintendent of the Prefectural Board of Education that they have formulated guidelines on how educational activities should take place when schools are reopened. I ask prefectural schools to thoroughly take measures based on these guidelines, and for other educational institutions not under the jurisdiction of the Prefectural Board of Education to refer to the guidelines in question. I ask business operators and industry groups whose limitation of the use of facilities has been lifted today, to continue to thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as properly restricting entry, guiding visitors, having hand sanitizer available, asking visitors to wear a mask, and also to avoid the “Three Cs” completely, while having proper indoor ventilation and observing social distancing, etc. even after resuming operations. I also ask businesses which have not been subject to the shutdown requests to continue to thoroughly take preventative measures. We will be providing cash payments to businesses which cooperated with the shutdown requests up until 6 May. We will also be providing financial assistance to those businesses which have continued to cooperate with the shutdown requests even after 7 May so that they are able to take measures towards resuming their businesses operations. We began taking applications for both benefits today (15 May). In order to speedily implement these cash payments, we will be responding promptly and appropriately. We have also decided to put in place a subsidy for businesses which have not been subject to the shutdown requests, but which have experienced a significant drop in sales in order to support efforts against the spread of infection.

Third, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from holding events. I ask orgainsers planning to hold large-scale or nationwide events which exceed the predetermined scope to respond prudently by canceling or delaying those events in case it is difficult to take proper preventative measures. You can hold events other than those mentioned above, but please take proper preventative measures.

Lastly, it is likely that these measures above will need to be continued for an extended period of time in the battle against COVID-19. Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I hope each and every one of you change your daily habits in order to establish the “New Lifestyle”. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with consideration to others, your patience, hard work and ingenuity in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Tuesday, 5 May 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to those who have been working to support our daily lives by maintaining the distribution of goods, selling daily necessities, and other operations.

The state of emergency which had been declared based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, has started producing some results as indicated in the number of new patients showing a downward trend. However, a resurgence of new infections could put an additional strain on the medical system. The central government, therefore, decided yesterday to extend the nationwide state of emergency until 31 May with the revision of some parts of the basic management policy.

Following the central government’s decision to extend the state of emergency to the entire nation on 16 April, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents and business operators to take various actions including: refraining from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and to restrict the use of facilities. During the Golden Week holidays, I have been seeing news reports showing a significant drop in the number of people using trains and expressways, and people visiting tourist spots. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our residents for your understanding and cooperation.

On the other hand, as of today, the cumulative number of patients in the prefecture stands at 79. While a significant increase in the number of new patients has been suppressed to 0 to 3 new patients per day over the past two weeks, new clusters of infection may very well occur. This means that it is difficult to predict how things will change going forward. This situation has been exceedingly difficult for residents and business operators who have been cooperating with our requests and because of the severe conditions the local economy is under, the likes of which have not been seen before. However, In order to prevent the spread of infections in Fukushima prefecture, it has been determined that it is important to keep reducing person-to-person contact as much as possible and minimize the traveling of people between and across prefectures in consideration of the fact that the spread of infection is continuing in some prefectures. In response to the central government’s decision, I have revised some of the measures applied under the state of emergency and will ask you to continue taking the following measures from 7 May to 31 May.

Request to refrain from going out

First, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from going out. I ask you to keep avoiding going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas. I also ask you to refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons. Also, please avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”overlap. Even when going out to places other than those mentioned above, please make sure to adopt a "New Lifestyle" approach where you avoid the “Three Cs”completely and take basic preventative measures including washing hands and observing social distancing.

Restriction on the use of facilities and other requests

Second, I would like to touch upon the restriction on the use of facilities. I ask business operators to continue to suspend business facilities except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives such as hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, public transportation, as well as social welfare facilities including nurseries, certified daycare centers, after-school child-care service facilities and senior care facilities. Even while the state of emergency is in place, we will be considering the lifting of the restrictions on the use of facilities based on response guidelines which take into account factors such as the number of cases in the prefecture, neighboring prefectures’ responses, preventative steps against infection for each type of business. Based on the Prefectural Assembly decision today for financial support for cooperating businesses, we will be providing cash payments to businesses which have been cooperating with the shutdown requests to help prevent the spread of infections. Those business operators will need to adopt a "New Lifestyle" towards lifting of shutdown requests. We are considering other measures to support these businesses which are taking preventative actions against infection. I ask kindergartens, elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special needs schools to keep closed. However, considering children’s learning and their physical and mental health, it is desirable to lift the school closures as soon as possible. I ask educational institutions to work out viable educational approaches paying utmost attention to the prevention of infections and implement them step by step even during this temporary closure period. I also ask them to formulate guidelines on how educational activities should take place when schools are reopened. Taking such guidelines and the number of infections in the prefecture and other factors into consideration comprehensively, we will consider measures to deal with the education of children including the early lifting of our shutdown requests.

Request to refrain from holding events

Third, I would like to talk about the request to refrain from holding events. I ask you to refrain from holding any events where clusters of infections could occur and the“Three Cs”overlap. In particular, I ask orgainsers planning to hold a large-scale or nationwide event to respond prudently by canceling or delaying the event in case it is difficult to take proper preventative measures. You can hold comparatively small-scale events, but please take proper preventative measures.
I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to understand and cooperate with the following actions.

For residents of Fukushima 

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette including wearing a mask, and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from commuting to work, etc.
  2. Please refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas and from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as well as avoid going to places where clusters of infections have occurred and the“Three Cs”overlap.
  3. If you have to come to Fukushima for an unavoidable reason such as a new job or a job transfer from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  4. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them as well as healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as, hand washing in your office, and cough etiquette including wearing a mask to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. Please take measures to reduce person-to-person contact such as introducing working from home, teleworking, and teleconferences.
  3. I ask business operators to suspend businesses except for facilities essential for sustaining our daily lives and social welfare facilities.
  4. I call on event organisers to refrain from holding events where clusters of infections could occur and the“Three Cs”overlap.

While these measures that are in place through the extension of the state of emergency will cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, it is strongly hoped that each and every one of us change our daily habits and establish a "New Lifestyle” as it is likely that these measures will need to be continued for an extended period of time. Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I would like to ask for your continued understanding and cooperation with consideration to others, your patience, hard work and ingenuity in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 1 May 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. As residents continue to cooperate with our request to refrain from going out, I would also like to express my appreciation to those who have been working to support our daily lives by maintaining the distribution of goods, selling daily necessities, and other operations.

Following the central government’s decision to extend the state of emergency to the entire nation on 16 April, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents to take various actions including: refraining from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and to restrict the use of facilities. Since the Golden Week holidays started last weekend, I have been seeing news reports showing a significant drop in the number of people using trains and expressways, and people visiting tourist spots in the prefecture. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our residents and business operators for your understanding and cooperation.

In order to prevent the spread of infections, it is extremely important to minimize the traveling of people during the Golden Week holidays. I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators to focus on taking the following three actions.

  1. To refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons such as returning to your family home or for going on holiday. As for daily activities, I also ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and in particular avoid going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  2. Many business operators have already cooperated with our request for closing facilities. I would like business operators again to understand the purpose of the state of emergency and cooperate in suspending businesses until 6 May for facilities where many people gather including adult entertainment, sports and amusement facilities.
  3. As for businesses that remain open including supermarkets, home improvement stores, and facilities that are not subject to usage restrictions including outdoor parks, I ask operators to take proper preventative measures against infection such as restricting entry and advising customers and users to avoid contact with others by observing social distancing when there are many people present. I also ask residents to make efforts to reduce person-to-person contact as much as possible by taking actions such as going shopping with as few people as possible and to avoid the busiest opening times.

I know most of you have been looking forward to returning to your family homes or traveling during the Golden Week holidays. How each of us spends these holidays is important in the prevention of the spread of infection. You can still connect with your family and friends who live away from you by making good use of other means including telephones, letters, computers, and smart phones. I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy yourselves at home and relax during the Golden Week holidays.
Additionally, the Fukushima Prefectural Government announced today a supplementary budget to help fight COVID-19. As part of the swift and appropriate measures to address the various challenges we are facing, we are striving to support people who are working at medical facilities, business operators, and to ensure the safety and security of residents and their way of life is maintained.
I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to understand and cooperate with the following actions.

For residents of Fukushima 

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from commuting to work, etc.
  2. Please avoid going out for any nonessential reasons until 6 May. In particular, I urge you to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  3. Please refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  4. If you have to come to Fukushima for an unavoidable reason such as a new job or a job transfer from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.
  6. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against healthcare related workers  who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing in your office to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. If you have workers who have just been transferred or commute to your office from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please exert maximum efforts to take preventative measures against infection such as promoting working from home and teleworking in the case that engaging in their work is unavoidable.
  3. I ask business operators to suspend businesses until 6 May except for facilities essential for sustaining our daily lives and social welfare facilities.
  4. I call on event organisers to refrain from holding any events until 6 May regardless of whether they are small, large, indoor, or outdoor, except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. While these measures will cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, these requests to suspend businesses will not include the closure of facilities essential for our daily lives. I would like to ask everyone to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures.
I would like to ask for your continued cooperation in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Tuesday, 28 April 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. As residents continue to cooperate with our request to refrain from going out, I would also like to express my appreciation to those who have been working to maintain the distribution and delivery of necessary goods throughout Japan, and to those who are selling those goods and daily necessities.

Following the central government’s decision to extend the state of emergency to the entire nation on 16 April, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents to take various actions including: refraining from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and to restrict the use of facilities. Since the Golden Week holidays started last weekend, I have been seeing news reports showing a significant drop in the number of people going out over the weekend in the prefecture. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to our residents and business operators for your understanding and cooperation.

In order to prevent the spread of infections, it is extremely important to minimize the traveling of people during the Golden Week holidays. I would like to again ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators to focus on taking the following three actions.

  1. To refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons such as returning to your family home or for going on holiday. As for daily activities, I also ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons, and in particular avoid going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  2. Many business operators have already cooperated with our request for closing facilities. I would like business operators again to understand the purpose of the state of emergency and cooperate in suspending businesses until 6 May for facilities where many people gather including adult entertainment, sports and amusement facilities.
  3. As for businesses that remain open including supermarkets, home improvement stores, and facilities that are not subject to usage restrictions including outdoor parks, I ask operators to take proper preventative measures against infection such as restricting entry and advising customers and users to avoid contact with others by observing social distancing when there are many people present. I also ask residents to make efforts to reduce person-to-person contact as much as possible by taking actions such as going shopping with as few people as possible and to avoid the busiest opening times.

I know most of you have been looking forward to returning to your family homes or traveling during the Golden Week holidays. However, you can still connect with your family and friends who live away from you by making good use of other means including telephones, letters, computers, and smart phones. I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy yourselves at home and relax during the Golden Week holidays.
I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to understand and cooperate with the following actions.

For residents of Fukushima 

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from commuting to work, etc.
  2. Please avoid going out for any nonessential reasons until 6 May. In particular, I urge you to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  3. Please refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  4. If you have to come to Fukushima for an unavoidable reason such as a new job or a job transfer from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.
  6. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against healthcare related workers  who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing in your office to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. If you have workers who have just been transferred or commute to your office from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please exert maximum efforts to take preventative measures against infection such as promoting working from home and teleworking in the case that engaging in their work is unavoidable.
  3. I ask business operators to suspend businesses until 6 May except for facilities essential for sustaining our daily lives and social welfare facilities.
  4. I call on event organisers to refrain from holding any events until 6 May regardless of whether they are small, large, indoor, or outdoor, except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. While these measures will cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, these requests to suspend businesses will not include the closure of facilities essential for our daily lives. I would like to ask everyone to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures.
I would like to ask for your continued cooperation in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 24 April 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators who have been cooperating in preventative measures like, restricting movement and closing facilities. The situation surrounding COVID-19 both in Japan and abroad is changing hour by hour and getting more serious. As Fukushima prefecture is in a difficult situation where the number of patients has been increasing, we continue to be at a critical juncture in preventing an explosive spread of the virus.

On 16 April the central government decided to extend the state of emergency, which had been declared based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response, to the entire nation. In response to the decision, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents to refrain from holding events or going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons and to restrict the use of facilities. The main objective of the central government’s decision is to minimize the traveling of people during the Golden Week holidays. I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators to focus on taking the following three actions to prevent the spread of infections for the upcoming Golden Week holidays.

  1. I ask you to refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons such as returning to your family home or for going on holiday. As for daily activities, I also ask you to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons and in particular avoid going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  2. Many business operators have already cooperated with our request for closing facilities. I would like business operators again to understand the purpose of the state of emergency and cooperate in suspending businesses until 6 May for facilities where many people gather including adult entertainment, sports and amusement facilities.
  3. As for businesses that remain open including supermarkets, home improvement stores, restaurants, and facilities that are not subject to usage restrictions including outdoor parks, I ask operators to take proper preventative measures against infection such as restricting entry and advising customers and users to avoid contact with others by observing social distancing when there are many people present. I also ask residents to make efforts to reduce person-to-person contact as much as possible by taking actions such as going shopping with as few people as possible and to avoid the busiest opening times if it is necessary to go out with family members or children.

I know most of you have been looking forward to returning to your family homes or traveling during the Golden Week holidays. However, you can still connect with your family and friends who live away from you using other means including telephones, letters, computers, and smart phones. I hope you are able to find ways to enjoy yourselves at home and relax during the Golden Week holidays.
I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to understand and cooperate with the following actions.

For residents of Fukushima 

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from commuting to work, etc.
  2. Please avoid going out for any nonessential reasons until 6 May. In particular, I urge you to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  3. Please refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  4. If you have to come to Fukushima for an unavoidable reason such as a new job or a job transfer from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.
  6. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against healthcare related workers who have been working hard to prevent the spread of infections.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing in your office to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. If you have workers who have just been transferred or commute to your office from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please exert maximum efforts to take preventative measures against infection such as promoting working from home and teleworking in the case that engaging in their work is unavoidable.
  3. I ask business operators to suspend businesses and close facilities until 6 May except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives and social welfare facilities.
  4. I call on event organisers to refrain from holding any events until 6 May regardless of whether they are small, large, indoor, or outdoor, except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. While these measures will cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, these requests to suspend businesses will not include the closure of facilities essential for our daily lives. I would like to ask everyone to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures. I would like to ask for your continued cooperation in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Monday, 20 April 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to those who have been cooperating in preventative measures like, suspending business.

The central government decided to extend the state of emergency which had been declared based on the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response to the entire nation on 16 April. In response to the decision, the Fukushima Prefectural Government asked its residents to refrain from going out for nonurgent and nonessential reasons on 17 April. However, as the number of patients in the prefecture has kept rising rapidly in the past few days, we continue to be at a critical juncture in preventing an explosive spread of the virus. Following the expansion of the state of emergency nationwide, an increasing number of neighboring prefectural governments have been requesting restrictions of their residents such as limiting the use of facilities. Considering these circumstances, we have decided to advance our efforts to prevent the spread of infections in addition to measures including minimizing the traveling of people between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons and to Fukushima from neighboring prefectures especially during the Golden Week holidays.
We will implement the following two additional emergency measures in the entire prefecture effective from 21 April to 6 May.
First, I request cooperation in restricting the use of facilities. I request closure of facilities except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives such as hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, public transportation, as well as social welfare facilities including nurseries, certified daycare centers, after-school child-care service facilities and senior care facilities. We will provide cash payments to businesses which cooperate with the shutdown requests. We will work on specific details of the payments quickly.Second, I request cooperation in refraining from holding events. I request event organisers refrain from holding any events regardless of whether they are small, large, indoor, or outdoor, except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives.
I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again to take the following actions to control the spread of infections at any costs.

For residents of Fukushima 

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from going to work or school.
  2. Please avoid going out for any nonessential reasons until 6 May. In particular, I urge you to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  3. Please refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  4. If you have to come to Fukushima for an unavoidable reason such as a new job or a job transfer from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing in your office to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. If you have workers who have just been transferred or commute to your office from “Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please exert maximum efforts to take preventative measures against infection such as promoting working from home and teleworking in the case that engaging in their work is unavoidable.
  3. I ask business operators to suspend businesses until 6 May except for facilities essential for sustaining our daily lives and social welfare facilities.
  4. I call on event organisers to refrain from holding any events until 6 May regardless of whether they are small, large, indoor, or outdoor, except for ones essential for sustaining our daily lives.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. While these measures will cause our residents and business operators trouble and inconvenience, these requests to suspend businesses will not include the closure of facilities essential for our daily lives. I would like to ask everyone to continue to remain calm and take necessary preventive measures.
I would like to ask for your continued cooperation in coming together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 17 April 2020)

First of all, I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, clinical laboratory technologists as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases. I would also like to express my appreciation to those who have been cooperating in preventative measures like, suspending business.

Yesterday, the central government expanded the state of emergency beyond the initial 7 prefectures to include the entire nation. Even after the first state of emergency was issued on 7 April the virus has continued spreading across the nation with clusters of infections occurring outside of big cities and an increase in the number of patients whose transmission source of infection is unknown. In order to prevent the spread of infections, we need to be keenly aware of the fact that measures such as reducing person-to-person contact by at least 70 percent (ideally 80 percent) and minimizing the traveling of people during the Golden Week holidays should be undertaken. That is why the state of emergency was put in place for all prefectures until 6 May.

I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators again who have been already working hard to take preventative measures, to continue to do so.

For residents of Fukushima 

I would like to ask everyone to understand and cooperate with the following six actions.

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from going to work or school.
  2. Please avoid going out for any nonessential reasons. In particular, I urge you to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  3. Please refrain from traveling between and across prefectures for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  4. If you have unavoidable circumstances to come to Fukushima such as a new job or a job transfer from *“Prefectures under Specific Cautions” (special alert prefectures), please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
    *Prefectures under Specific Cautions: Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Ishikawa, Gifu, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing in your office to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. If you have workers who have just been transferred or commute to your office from special alert prefectures, please exert maximum efforts to take preventative measures against infection such as promoting working from home and teleworking in the case that engaging in their work is unavoidable.

Please help to reduce the burden on our healthcare facilities by taking on measures which protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I would like to ask for everyone in the prefecture to come together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Saturday, 11 April 2020)

Today, the central government revised the Basic Action Plan formulated to fight COVID-19 at a meeting of Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters and decided to extend requests to refrain from visiting nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas to prefectures other than those under the state of emergency based on Clause 9 of Article 24 of the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. Fukushima prefecture is in a difficult situation where the number of patients has been increasing. As the first cluster of cases has occurred in the prefecture, we continue to be at a critical juncture in preventing an explosive spread of the virus. Based on the central government’s decision, I urge residents of Fukushima to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas, in addition to taking other preventative measures and actions which I have been asking you to take on.

I would like to ask everyone again to take the following actions.

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from going to work or school.
  2. I urge you to refrain from going to nightclubs, hostess bars and the like in busy downtown areas.
  3. Please refrain from traveling to areas under the state of emergency for nonurgent and nonessential reasons or coming to Fukushima from these areas.
  4. If you have unavoidable circumstances to come to Fukushima such as a new job or a job transfer, please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.

Please take on measures that protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I would like to ask for everyone in the prefecture to come together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 10 April 2020)

As of 10 April, 33 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Fukushima prefecture and the first cluster of cases has occurred. As the number of patients continues to increase significantly particularly in big cities, we are also in a difficult situation where the number of patients keeps rising. We continue to be at a critical juncture in preventing an explosive spread of the virus. Considering these circumstances, I would like to again ask everyone in the prefecture as well as business operators and healthcare providers to take the following actions.

For residents of Fukushima

  1. Please thoroughly take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. If you have any symptoms such as a fever or cough, please refrain from going to work or school.
  2. Please refrain from traveling to areas under the state of emergency for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  3. Considering the purpose of the state of emergency, please refrain from coming to Fukushima from areas under the state of emergency for nonurgent and nonessential reasons.
  4. If you have unavoidable circumstances to come to Fukushima such as a new job or a job transfer, please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
  5. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those related to them.

For business operators

  1. Please take preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing in your office to protect your employees, their family members and your customers, and make sure your employees take care of their own health by not having to come to work if they have symptoms including a fever.
  2. If you have workers who have just been transferred or commute to your office from areas under the state of emergency, please exert maximum efforts to take preventative measures against infection such as promoting working from home and teleworking in the case that engaging in their work is unavoidable.

For healthcare providers

  1. I would like to express my deepest respect and gratitude to those of you who have been working hard on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff as well as workers at public health centres countering infectious diseases and clinical laboratory technologists.
  2. As for securing beds for those infected, we have been able to secure 111 beds up until now thanks to the cooperation of many healthcare professionals. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to them.
  3. The Fukushima Prefectural Government will undertake the utmost effort to support medical facilities in the securing of essential equipment, and support the establishing of a network of cooperation among relevant entities so that they can provide medical services at full capacity. I would like to ask for your understanding and cooperation in these efforts.

Please take on measures that protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I would like to ask for everyone in the prefecture to come together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

Statement from the Governor given during the 11th meeting of the Fukushima COVID-19 Response Task Force (Tuesday, 7 April 2020)

Today, the central government declared a state of emergency for the seven prefectures of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, Hyogo, Osaka and Fukuoka based on the revised Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response. It will take effect immediately and last for a month until 6 May.I would like to ask everyone again to understand and cooperate with the following four actions.

1. Please take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing thoroughly. Also, avoid the “Three Cs”- “ Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”.
2. Please refrain from traveling to areas under the state of emergency for nonurgent and nonessential reasons or coming to Fukushima from these areas.
3. If you have unavoidable circumstances to come to Fukushima such as a new job or a job transfer, please refrain from going out for at least two weeks to prevent further spread of infections as well as make sure to take care of yourself. If you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
4. Please do not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those people related to them.

Please take on measures that protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society. I would like to ask for everyone in the prefecture to come together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

 

Statement from the Governor given during the 10th meeting of the Fukushima COVID-19 Response Task Force (Sunday, 5 April 2020)

As COVID-19 continues to spread, over 3400 cases were confirmed in Japan as of 5 April and the number of patients continues to increase rapidly particularly in the big cities.In Fukushima prefecture, the 14th COVID-19 patient was confirmed 6 days after 31 March. There have been cases of secondary and tertiary infection, and an increase in cases where transmission pathways have not been determined. As such we will reach an extremely worrying situation as the number of the patients explosively increases.At this point, the largest number of patients in one day in Fukushima to be newly confirmed to have COVID-19 is 5, taking into consideration the locations which have not had any patients confirmed, has led to our prefecture being designated as a “Outbreak Monitoring Area” according to the government’s panel of experts meeting held on 1 April. I think it is necessary to work further with people in Fukushima prefecture in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. I would like to ask the people of Fukushima to understand and cooperate with the following three actions.

  1. Thoroughly prevent transmission of COVID-19
      It is important to carry out strict measures against transmission of COVID-19. I would like to ask everyone to continue avoiding the “Three Cs” – “Closed spaces with poor ventilation.”, “Crowded places with many people nearby.”, and “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations.” along with carrying out basic preventative measures, such as cough etiquette and hand washing.This is especially important in hospitals or welfare facilities, where we have seen clusters of infection grow.
  2. Actions to take in order to not become a source of infection
      It is important not to become a source of infection. It has been reported that the incubation period for COVID-19 can be as long as 14 days and that there are some cases of people not having any symptoms or only mild symptoms. So, it is important to be aware that you may spread infection without showing symptoms.As we have identified secondary and tertiary transmissions in our prefecture, we should be aware that we could be a source of infection. So it is important for all of us, including young people to employ behavior that completely avoids the “Three Cs”.Please take on measures that protect yourself, your loved ones, and our society.  Additionally, people who came from or visited areas where the infection is spreading such as Tokyo, must make sure to take care of yourself and if you have any symptoms, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
    I am counting on not just individuals, but also businesses and schools to cooperate with these measures.
  3. Discrimination and prejudice against people and those around them who have been infected by COVID-19
    Lastly, I would like to talk to you about discrimination and prejudice against people and those around them who have been infected by COVID-19.It has been reported that there have been cases of harassment or unfair treatment taking place in work places where employees were infected. Although I expect you probably are feeling some amount of anxiety or fear, we are the people who have been suffering from harmful rumours caused by the nuclear disaster, so I sincerely hope you will not level discrimination and prejudice against people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those people related to them.

 As the situation of COVID-19 is changing hour by hour, we are working with strong determination on countermeasures that respond flexibly and appropriately, while mobilizing all measures appropriate to the situation.Now, I would like to ask everyone in the prefecture as well as businesses, schools and groups in each region to take action and do as much as you possibly can to tackle this situation. I would like to ask for everyone in the prefecture to come together as one to support us in overcoming this difficult situation.

 

Statement from the Governor given during the urgent press conference on COVID-19 (Wednesday, 1 April 2020)

Today, the 5th and 6th positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed following the 3rd and 4th cases confirmed yesterday. The 5th patient is a family member of the 3rd patient, however, as for the 6th patient, the transmission route has not been determined so far. We are conducting an epidemiological investigation to understand the transmission route and are confirming the close contacts, while working closely with related organizations including the Fukushima City Public Health Centre and Minamisoma City. I would like to ask everyone to remain calm and take actions based on accurate information. As I mentioned yesterday, if you have cold-like symptoms such as having a fever, please refrain from going out and avoid the “Three Cs”; “Closed places with poor ventilation.”, “Crowded places with many people nearby.” and “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”, along with carrying out infection prevention measures including cough etiquette and washing your hands. For young people, in particular it is difficult to detect infection. So, I would like to ask you to take extra caution and refrain from going to crowded places for nonurgent and nonessential reasons. For those who have had symptoms of a cold or a fever of 37.5℃ or higher for 4 days, people who feel strong fatigue, shortness of breath, or people who came back from foreign countries and have a fever, please contact your nearest public health centre hotline (Kikokusya-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).

 The Prefecture will work on enhancing screeing and medical treatment systems. Also, we will continue to take swift and proper measures prioritizing the safety of the people of Fukushima with various relevant organizations including the central government and municipalities. I would like to ask for cooperation from every one of you.

 

Statement from the Governor given during the urgent press conference on COVID-19 (Tuesday, 31 March 2020)

As COVID-19 continues to spread not only in Japan but in other parts of the world, the 3rd and 4th COVID-19 patients were confirmed in Fukushima Prefecture. The Fukushima Prefectural Government is conducting an epidemiological investigation working with the Fukushima City Public Health Centre and related organizations to find the transmission routes and close contacts of these patients. I would like to ask everyone again to remain calm and take actions based on accurate information.
I would also like to ask everyone to continue to take thorough preventative measures such as practicing cough etiquette and washing your hands often, as well as to refrain from going out in the case that you have cold-like symptoms including a fever. Also I would like to ask for your ongoing cooperation in avoiding the “Three Cs”- “Closed spaces with poor ventilation”, “Crowded places with many people nearby”, and “Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations”. These include taking prudent actions, refraining from going to crowded places for nonurgent and nonessential reasons and holding events. Young people should take extra caution because their infections are hard to detect. If you have cold-like symptoms, a fever of 37 .5°C or higher for 4 days or more, strong fatigue, shortness of breath, or if you have symptoms such as a fever after returning to Japan from abroad, please contact your nearest public health centre hotline (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
The prefecture will continue to work on enhancing screening and medical treatment systems. We will also keep working with various relevant organizations including the central government and municipalities to take swift and proper measures, prioritizing the safety of our residents above all. I would like once again to ask for cooperation from every one of you.

 

Governor’s message for the people of Fukushima (Friday, 27 March 2020)

As COVID-19 continues to spread not only in Japan but in other parts of the world. The number of cases is trending upward particularly in big cities due to new spread via unknown infection routes and among people returning to Japan from overseas.
It is important for everyone to continue to practice good hygiene by observing cough etiquette and washing your hands often, just as you would do for preventing a common cold or the flu.
If you have cold-like symptoms, you should stay home. In the case that you have to go outside for essential reasons, please wear a face mask.
The risk of occurrence of cluster infection is particularly high when the “Three Cs” overlap: 1) Closed spaces with poor ventilation, 2) Crowded places with many people nearby, 3) Close-contact settings such as close-range conversations. I would like to ask everyone to keep the “Three Cs” from overlapping in order to protect yourself and prevent further spread of infection.
I would also like to ask everyone to refrain from traveling to Tokyo and neighboring areas for nonurgent and nonessential reasons as much as possible over the weekend to prevent further spread of the virus.

 

Statement from the Governor given during the urgent press conference on COVID-19 (Saturday, 14 March 2020)

I have a message for the people of Fukushima Prefecture. As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to increase across the nation, the 2nd patient was confirmed in the prefecture. The Fukushima Prefectural Government is conducting an epidemiological investigation working closely with related organizations including the Koriyama City Public Health Centre to find the transmission routes and close contacts of these patients.
I would like to ask everyone to remain calm and take actions based on accurate information. I would also like to ask everyone to continue to take thorough preventative measures such as practicing cough etiquette and washing your hands often. If you have cold-like symptoms such as having a fever, please refrain from going out and avoid places with poor ventilation and places that are crowded, in order to prevent the transmission and spread of the virus.
If you have cold-like symptoms, a fever of 37 .5°C or higher for 4 days or more, strong fatigue, shortness of breath, or if you have symptoms such as a fever after returning to Japan from abroad, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta).
The prefecture will continue to work on enhancing screening and medical treatment systems. The prefectural government will take a coherent approach in supporting children and their parents who have been affected by the closure of schools, and business operators and their employees who are facing challenges due to voluntary restraint on holding large-scale events and disrupted movement of people and goods, etc.
We will also keep working with various relevant organizations including the central government and municipalities to take swift and proper measures, prioritizing the safety of our residents above all. I would like once again to ask for cooperation from every one of you.

 

Statement from the Governor of Fukushima given during the urgent press conference on COVID-19 (Saturday, 7 March 2020)

Today, the first positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. Working with Iwaki City, we will investigate the case including grasping the close contacts of the patient. I would like to ask everyone to take basic preventative measures such as cough etiquette and hand washing thoroughly to prevent further spread of infections.
Last week, the central government requested the closure of elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special needs schools nationwide. The Fukushima Prefectural Government is fully aware of the urgent need of taking measures promptly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has decided to temporarily close all of the prefecture-run schools starting from 2 March and requested municipal-run schools to follow suit. The closure of schools would impose a burden on children and their parents. However, it is a crucial phase of preventing the spread of infections. I would like to ask for your understanding and cooperation.
It is important for everyone to continue to practice good hygiene by observing cough etiquette and washing your hands often, just as you would do for preventing a common cold or the flu. I would like to ask for your cooperation in taking such thorough measures to prevent further spread of infections.
If you have cold-like symptoms, a fever of 37 .5°C or higher for 4 days or more, strong fatigue, shortness of breath, or if you are a senior citizen or have underlying respiratory diseases and have these symptoms for two or more days, please contact one of the public health centre hotlines (Kikokusha-Sesshokusha-Sodan-Senta) that has been set up at a public health centre in your region. Please make sure to follow their advice such as visiting a designated medical institution.
The situation surrounding COVID-19 is so far having various impacts on residents’ daily lives and on economic activities. I would like to ask everyone to pay close attention to information released by the central government, the prefecture and other related organizations, remain calm and take actions.
We will also keep working with various relevant organizations including the central government and municipalities to take measures appropriate to the situation in order to eliminate residents’ anxieties and prevent further spread of infections.

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