Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the country’s state of emergency will be extended to May 31, after government officials judged that it was premature to lift it given the progression of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The state of emergency was gradually introduced nationwide from April 7 and was previously set to end on May 6. The measures enforced in the country are less restrictive than in Europe and the U.S., but the state of emergency allows regional governors to invite residents to stay at home and for some shops to close.

Asked to comment on the corona crisis, the Fukui Optical Association explained that several factories started reducing their production in April and that this downward trend could affect the whole production area in May. Eyewear companies in the region are also concerned by the uncertainty around the autumn trade shows, as this is now the period when they start to produce samples for the various exhibitions.

On the health and safety side, factories have adjusted their processes to align with the governmental recommendations to avoid close-range conversations, crowded and closed places without ventilation. Companies have cancelled business trips and switched to online meetings.

The industry will be supported at regional and national levels through unsecured loans to obtain working capital and compensation for the absence of employees, as sell as subsidies to organize web-based exhibitions.

Commenting on the governmental JPY240 bn package to shift production units from China to Japan or ASEAN countries, the Fukui association said that it does not expect this plan to impact the eyewear industry as it is mostly targeted at large companies in the automotive or electronics industries.