Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to fight coronavirus infections in major population centres and implemented an almost US$1 trillion stimulus package to soften the economic blow.
The state of emergency, giving authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close, will last a month and be imposed in the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures, accounting for about 44% of Japan's population.
Major department stores announced closures, while restaurants and bars around Tokyo - many of which were still operating earlier this week - prepared to close.
Mr. Abe said by reducing contact between people by 70% to 80%, the government hoped infections would peak in two weeks.
The government approved the stimulus package, worth US$990 million.
That is equal to 20% of Japan's economic output.