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Newsline: Japan’s Shanghai consul airs concerns over virus curbs

Japan’s top representative in Shanghai urged China’s most populous city to address concerns of Japanese businesses over losses and other disruptions caused by lockdowns aimed at containing a COVID-19 surge. Consul General Shuichi Akamatsu’s letter, posted on the consulate’s website on Saturday, comes as most of Shanghai’s 25 million residents remain under strict lockdowns. The city reported a record 3,590 symptomatic cases on Saturday. Akamatsu acknowledged the city’s efforts at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the letter to the vice mayor, dated Friday. “However, with the extension of virus control measures, the situation of production and operations not being able to function normally has already lasted for more than a month,” he said. “The impact on business activities is clearly becoming more severe by the day.” “There is no room for optimism about the current reality,” he said, adding that a lack of information about when lockdowns will end has made it impossible for companies to conduct business. (https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-china-japan-idUSL2N2WE035) The U.S. State Department on Monday ordered non-emergency U.S. government workers to leave the consulate due to surging virus numbers and China’s measures to control its spread. The Shanghai government did not immediately respond to questions from Reuters on Saturday. China’s foreign ministry has termed State Department concerns over coronavirus control measures in Shanghai “groundless accusations”.

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