Kishida Tells Ministries to Report Key Measures in Advance

Tokyo – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told government ministries on Tuesday to make sure that they inform the prime minister’s office beforehand if they take policy measures with large political implications, sources close to him said.

Kishida issued the instruction after the education ministry made an about-face on Monday and allowed people who had close contact with carriers of the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus to take university entrance examinations on the same day as other test-takers if they meet certain conditions.

Due to growing criticism, the ministry retracted its decision, made three days before, to bar close contacts from taking exams on the same day.

The prime minister’s instruction was given to vice ministers and other senior ministry officials through Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shunichi Kuryu. Regarding measures against the omicron variant, the transport ministry came under fire for asking airlines in late November to stop accepting reservations for passenger flights to Japan and withdrew the request three days later.

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