"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by the Prime Minister on the Number of New Infections Remaining at a High Level and Other Matters

[Date] April 30, 2021
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(On the number of new infections remaining at a high level and other matters)

In Tokyo and Osaka, we are beginning to see a decline in the number of people heading out of the house. However, just as you said, the number of new infections remains at a high level. I believe we need to continue suspending the serving of alcohol and taking measures to curb the flow of people.

In addition, tomorrow we will begin a five-day string of holidays. We would like people to refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings, sightseeing, and returning to their hometowns. I ask this of the citizens in great sincerity.

(On upcoming concrete assistance measures by the Government to accelerate vaccinations)

Today I consulted with the President of the Japan Medical Association and the President of the Japanese Nursing Association. We now have good prospects for the supply of the vaccine. Against that backdrop, I requested exceptional cooperation for swift administration of vaccines and asked them to make an appeal to relevant parties around the country.

The Government will bolster its assistance by, for example, raising unit payments for vaccination on holidays and during nighttime, and we will strive to promptly complete the inoculation of medical practitioners and aim to finish the vaccination of the elderly, keeping its completion by the end of July in mind.

(On whether it will be possible to secure a sufficient number of medical professionals to administer the vaccine)

I made my judgment on taking these measures after listening to a range of views from various parties, including medical practitioners and local government representatives, so I expect that we have indeed secured sufficient human resources.

(On the request to dispatch nurses to the Tokyo Olympic Games)

I understand that in the Japanese Nursing Association, there are currently many who are taking leave, so I think it will be possible to dispatch nurses to the Games.

(On views opposing the dispatching of nurses to the Tokyo Olympic Games)

I am aware that some have that opinion. We will make all possible efforts to avoid such a dispatch hindering medical resources.

(On the possibility of extending the declaration of a state of emergency)

This time we are asking for short-term, intensive efforts centered right here on Golden Week. We will work to help them be effective.

(On additionally applying priority measures that include prevention of the spread of disease during the string of holidays)

First of all, what you are talking about is something that Minister Nishimura will coordinate himself. Insofar as the shortening of operating hours has only just begun in many locations, I believe it will be necessary to watch the situation and see.

(On adding areas to be subject to the declaration of the state of emergency)

I find it only natural for us to add areas, should that be necessary. But for Fukuoka Prefecture, the shortening of operating hours to 9 PM has only just begun. I think it is necessary to apply such measures determinedly and thoroughly going forward.

(On adding areas to be subject to the declaration of the state of emergency [follow-up question])

For areas where measures have only just begun to be implemented, we need to look at the situation. I think that is a matter of course.