In the press review on Friday, April 16, we will discuss: the first meeting between the Japanese Prime Minister and the American President, the strengthening of measures against the coronavirus and finally four intoxicated workers in a building in Shinjuku.
First meeting between Suga and Biden
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga arrived in Washington on Thursday to meet with US President Joe Biden. This meeting is intended to show the strength of the security alliance of the two nations. This will be the first face-to-face meeting of Joe biden with a foreign leader since taking office. This follows four years of uncertainty for the Japan-U.S. Alliance under the administration of the former president Donald trump. The Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Suga hopes to reaffirm the “strong bond” of the alliance and discuss a multinational effort to uphold democratic values and counter China’s growing global influence. The two leaders are also expected to discuss the human rights situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang region in northwest China. This interview between Joe biden and Yoshihide Suga will also focus on the fight against the pandemic, cooperation on vaccines COVID-19 to support developing countries, building supply chains less dependent on China and climate change, Japanese officials said.
Health reinforcement in four departments
The Japanese government is expected to designate four more departments on Friday that need tighter restrictions to tackle the “fourth wave” of COVID-19. The addition of the neighboring departments of Tokyo – Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama – as well as Aichi, in the center of the country, will bring the number of departments placed in a quasi-state of emergency to 10. The measures, which include asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 p.m. and imposing fines for non-compliance, will be in effect from Tuesday to May 11. Coronavirus cases in Japan have steadily increased since the lifting of the state of emergency last month. As of Thursday, April 15, the number of cases nationwide topped 4,000 for the second day in a row, just under 100 days before the start of Tokyo Olympics. The capital reported 729 new cases in 24 hours, Kanagawa 242 and Aichi 218. A panel of experts on Friday morning approved the decision to impose tighter restrictions in more areas. Health experts have warned that the situation could worsen during the holidays of the Golden Week, from late April to early May, one of the busiest times of the year for travel.
Four people die in a Tokyo parking lot
Four building maintenance workers were killed Thursday in an underground car park in Tokyo. A fire extinguisher system was inadvertently activated, trapping them in an enclosed space containing high levels of carbon dioxide, police and firefighters said. A total of six men were replacing ceiling coverings in the parking lot of a building in the Shinjuku district, when the fire extinguishing system caused the shutters to close, and began to discharge CO2 as an extinguishing agent. The four men were between 30 and 50 years old, authorities said, adding that a worker in his 20s is in critical condition and receiving treatment in a hospital. Rescuers measured the CO2 density in the parking lot at around 20%, several hundred times higher than the normal level. After the accident, which happened shortly after 5 p.m., one of the six workers managed to get out of the parking lot and called for help from a maintenance person. What seems suspicious, according to the authorities of the fire department, is that when a fire extinguisher system of this type is activated, a warning message requesting evacuation is emitted and the CO2 is released after a certain time.