Japan will lift some COVID sanctions as US troops accuse it of increasing the risk of infection.

Tokyo – Japan announced on Friday that it was bringing back. COVID-19 Restrictions in three states, or prefectures, as the country suffers from the sixth wave of corona virus infection. Omicron variety. The new “semi-state of emergency” was due to take effect on January 9 and would last at least until the end of the month, mainly due to the urgent need to close bars and restaurants.

There are local leaders in the affected areas. Allegations against US troops Based in Japan for the dramatic increase in cases.

Thanks to some of the world’s toughest border restrictions and the use of almost universal masks, Japan has managed to keep Omicron’s variants under control and keep cases to a minimum. But over the past few days, infections have increased in areas hosting U.S. military bases, including Okinawa, as U.S. troops – who were excluded from strict Japanese entry conditions – returned from vacations in the United States. ۔

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After recording only a handful of cases in December, Okinawa topped the list with 1,400 infections this week alone.

Okinawa Governor Danny Tamaki, longtime. Demanded reduction of US military presence. On his island, he blamed U.S. troops for the increase in COVID.

The U.S. military command in Japan has so far resisted calls for a base lockdown by the country’s foreign minister, instead of wearing mandatory masks and ordering troops to follow Japanese rules for foreign travel. That means US troops will now have to be tested and quarantined. Entering the country like no other.

Japan has been relying on its tight border controls to keep the epidemic at bay for another month, but the sudden escalation around U.S. bases has apparently prevented Tokyo from safety, and leaders are scrambling for a solution. has left.

U.S. Marines vaccinate against corona virus in Okinawa
The U.S. Marines line up to receive the modern Corona virus vaccine on April 28, 2021, at Camp Hansen in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.

Carl Court / Getty

The re-imposition of measures on the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa and the western provinces of Hiroshima and Yamaguchi represents the first lifting of sanctions in Japan since September, when authorities lifted a year-long control of the country. Was

Omecron variants have been detected in about 80% of Japan’s prefectures, and the number of new infections nationwide was expected to exceed 5,000 on Friday, compared to a daily average of only 200 cases last month.

“We must be prepared for the rapid spread of the infection,” Health Minister Shigyuki Goto told reporters Friday, citing Omicron’s initiative. “There are cases where there is no history of travel abroad and the route of infection is unknown, while delta tensions continue to spread.”