Japan declares emergency for Tokyo area as cases spike

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three nearby areas as coronavirus cases continue to surge, hitting a daily record of 2,447 in the capital. The declaration lasts from Friday until Feb. 7, and centers around asking restaurants and bars to close at 8 p.m. and people to stay home and not mingle in crowds. The declaration carries no penalties. But it works as a strong request while Japan juggles to keep the economy going. Shopping malls and schools will remain open. Movie theaters will be asked to reduce attendance. Places that defy the request will get publicized while those that comply will be eligible for aid. Some experts say Japan should have acted sooner.