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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

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Higher education expands its climate push

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New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.