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Postponed Tokyo Olympics to start July 23, 2021: Organizing committee

Japan to impose entry bans from Europe

A man with a mask waits to cross the street, on March 26, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convened a coronavirus task force meeting, instructing all 47 prefectural leaders to plan contingency measures to fight the virus in response to assessments that the coronavirus is now rampant in the country.

    The task force is backed by a special law passed this month that allows Abe to declare a state of emergency, though top officials say such a declaration is not planned immediately.

    The task force meeting Thursday comes a day after Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike asked the 1.3 million residents in the Japanese capital to stay home this weekend, citing a spike of new cases, including those that cannot be traced. She added a lockdown of Tokyo is a possibility if the infections become explosive as in Europe and the U.S.

    Abe says Japan will impose entry bans to 21 European countries and Iran and suspend visas from entrants from those countries until the end of April. He says similar measures for China and South Korea are also extended through end of next month.

    Tokyo on Thursday had 47 cases, a record single-day increase surpassing 41 from the day before. Japan has about 2,000 cases, including 259 in Tokyo.

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