Osaka seeks virus emergency after ongoing alert steps fail

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s western metropolis of Osaka has decided to ask the government to declare a state of emergency in the region after ongoing alert measures failed to control the spread of a more contagious coronavirus variant. The decision by Osaka’s governor to request a third state of emergency comes just 50 days after an earlier toothless state of emergency ended. A new state of emergency, under a law toughened in February, would allow authorities to issue binding orders for business owners to close or shorten service hours. Measures for the general public, including mask wearing and staying at home, would remain non-mandatory requests.

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