Sex workers in Japan have been crippled and face being made homeless as they struggle for income amid coronavirus pandemic sweeping through Japan which has now caused a nationwide lockdown.
Japan first declared a state of emergency on April 7 to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The initial declaration was limited to Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures at that time
The latest State of emergency declared two days ago now applies to all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
“I decided to put all prefectures under the state of emergency to curb infections in respective areas and especially to keep the movement of people to a minimum heading into the Golden Week holidays,” Prime Minister Abe said at a meeting of a government task force on the coronavirus response, according to Kyodo News.
Abe added that the goal is for Japanese residents to limit contact with others by up to 80%, Kyodo News reported.
The nationwide lockdown which is in effect until May 6, comes after a team of experts in Japan warned that more than 400,000 people in Japan could die from COVID-19 if no measures are taken to contain infections.
Apart from debilitating blow to Japan’s economy, already on the brink of recession, the nationwide lockdown is dealing an additional blow to sex workers who are struggling badly and crying for money.
Abe said the government will provide cash handouts of 100,000 yen ($930) to all citizens. But sex workers say it won’t be enough.
In the video below, CNN’s Will Ripley reports on the effects the coronavirus pandemic is having on sex work in Japan.
Japan, which initially appeared to have the virus under control, reported 10,000 cases on Saturday, April 18, and more than 200 deaths. The capital, Tokyo remains the worst-affected area.