April 1, 2020 / 2:39 AM / 2 months ago

Japan on brink of emergency as coronavirus spreads: government spokesperson

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wearing a protective face mask, following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan April 1, 2020, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan remains on the brink of a state of emergency as the rate of coronavirus infections continues to increase in the country, its top government spokesman said on Wednesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters controlling the virus was a top priority, and that the government would do “whatever is needed” to minimise the economic impact after a nationwide poll released earlier in the day showed a pessimistic turn in sentiment among manufacturers because of the virus.

Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Tom Hogue

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