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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd L), wearing a face mask during a coronavirus taskforce meeting. Photo: STR/JIJI Press/AFP via Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a nationwide state of emergency and installed new measures to fight the coronavirus.

The big picture: Abe faced criticism for holding off on stricter measures because of possible damage to the economy. Roughly 80% of the public feels the response came too late, the Wall Street Journal writes, citing a Kyodo News poll.

  • Abe also said he intends to distribute approximately $1,000 to every person in Japan.

"The declaration ... amounted to an acknowledgment that [Abe's] efforts to keep Japan running normally had exposed the country to a potential sharp rise in coronavirus infections ... a potential lesson for the U.S. and European countries that are weighing when and how to resume everyday activities," WSJ writes.

The state of play: The emergency order, which will continue through at least May 6, will help officials convince nonessential businesses to shut down and issue work-from-home orders. Abe also recommended limited travel away from citizens' respective homes.

  • Japan’s number of infections has doubled every eight days and topped 8,600 as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeper

By the numbers: Census to show first decline of white population

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Brookings Institute; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The latest census is expected to show the first decline in history for the nation's non-Hispanic white population, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

Why it matters: The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a majority-minority population — with the racial and ethnic diversity most apparent in younger cohorts. "This really is moving in a direction that’s going to favor the issues and the political agendas of these younger people," Frey told Axios.

42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats plot filibuster workarounds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several Democratic lawmakers are moving away from calls to eliminate the filibuster while privately discussing alternatives to bypass it, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: These talks have ramped up in earnest following the Republicans’ move Tuesday to block a measure to protect and expand voting rights.

42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Infrastructure's remaining potholes

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

President Biden declared victory in announcing the bipartisan infrastructure package. Now comes the hard part: negotiating with his own party on the separate reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: By trying to simultaneously pass two massive spending bills, Biden and congressional leaders are attempting a legislative feat that will likely require Congress to work through its August recess — and potentially well into the fall, according to lawmakers and senior staffers.