Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike made his first public appearance on Sunday after a hospitalization last month that sparked speculation about his health and rumors of a possible resignation.
The 69-year-old visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building on Sunday to attend an online meeting hosted by the National Association of Governors, marking the official resumption of her duties.
âI’m completely back in shape now. I will resume my duties today, âKoike told reporters eagerly as she entered the building.
The governor was admitted to a hospital due to exhaustion late last month and was discharged after nearly a week. She has since telecommuted, but her health recovered to the point where her doctor assured her that she could physically return to work.
But her absence from public events such as regular press briefings in recent weeks has sparked speculation among tabloids that she may step down due to her deteriorating health.
This is not the first time that Koike’s health has been the subject of speculation. In June, she was hospitalized for about a week due to what authorities called overwork exhaustion. She was also occasionally seen coughing in public, including at press conferences, which fueled rumors about her health.
At the Governors Meeting, Koike said the capital had made steady progress in vaccinating its population, noting that as of Thursday, more than 80% of residents aged 12 and older had already received their second vaccine.
The absorption has helped to significantly reduce infections over the past few weeks and days, with just 10 to 20 COVID-19 cases reported daily in Tokyo, Koike said. The number of hospitalizations, including critically ill patients, has also tended to decline, she said.
But at the same time, she cautioned against complacency, describing the booster shots as “extremely important.” To this end, the central government must be able to guarantee a stable supply of vaccines, she said.
The governor added that the virus could start to spread again in the winter due to the cold and people traveling long distances for the New Year holidays.
âIt is essential that we maximize our vigilanceâ against the virus, she said.
Kyodo information added
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