Statement by Kengo Sakurada, Chairman of Keizai Doyukai
on Lifting of Emergency Declaration Regarding COVID-19
March 18, 2021
Chairman, Keizai Doyukai
- The government has decided to lift the declaration of a state of emergency, as originally scheduled, effective March 21, 2021. We believe it is a reasonable judgment, although the current status of the pandemic provides no room for optimism. First of all, we must show respect to the public and business operators, who have complied with the requests from the government and the municipalities for self-restraint measures against COVID-19. Above all, dedicated services provided by healthcare workers must be highly appreciated. During the declaration period, we managed to prevent further spread of COVID-19 to a certain degree, with a focus on limited and concentrated restrictions, which reflect lessons learned until now. Nevertheless, a concern over a resurgence of infections and the widespread of coronavirus variants will not leave us free from crisis. After the lifting of the declaration, we must continue infection control precautions and anti-spread measures without failure.
- The lengthy emergency declaration has placed household and business operators under even more strained conditions. A resurgence of infections, if any going forward, could press the economy downward even further. Thus, we must maintain a state where the emergency declaration is no more required. For this to happen, we request the government to ensure complete control of COVID-19 infections by making the most of all available measures such as; thorough implementation of vaccination, development/enhancement of systems for providing healthcare services and conducting tests, and relevant information disclosure in an adequate and appropriate manner. It is also important to carefully evaluate the efficacy of various measures taken under the emergency declaration, as well as their impact on the economy.
- Each individual must understand that the lifting of the declaration would not allow for a return to pre-coronavirus lives. Even after the declaration is lifted, we all need to shift to a new work style and lifestyle and get accustomed to voluntary behavioral changes as members of community. Keizai Doyukai members, as business leaders, will gather momentum and actively call for behavioral changes of the public and cooperation in preventive measures against infections.