Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Wednesday urged younger people to cooperate with measures to bring down the high number of infections and get vaccinated, saying their activities are key to slowing the surge during the Olympics.
On Tuesday, the Japanese capital reported 2,848 new cases, exceeding its previous record in January.
Koike noted that the younger people are mostly unvaccinated and are dominating the cases.
“Please make sure to avoid nonessential outings and observe basic anti-infection measures, and I would like younger people to get vaccinated,” he said.
As of Tuesday, 25.5 per cent of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated. The percentage of the elderly who are fully vaccinated is 68.2 per cent, or 36 million people.
Vaccination prospects for the younger have improved, and some can get their shots organized by work places and colleges, while others still wait based on seniority.
Younger people have been blamed for roaming downtown areas after the requested closing hours for eateries and stores and spreading the virus. Measures for the public are only requests and they are increasingly ignored.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has also urged people to avoid nonessential outings but says there is no need to consider a suspension of the Games, which are held with no fans in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures — Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.
Governors of the three areas, alarmed by Tokyo’s surging cases, said on Wednesday they plan to jointly ask Suga to place their prefectures under the state of emergency too.
Nationwide, Japan reported 5,020 cases in the last 24 hours for a total of 870,445 and 15,129 confirmed deaths.
Japan has kept its cases and deaths lower than many other countries.