Japan looks to lift coronavirus emergency in some areas ahead of May 31 deadline

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Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Sunday the government is looking to lift the state of emergency in “many of 34 prefectures” that are not among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic before the nationwide deadline of May 31.

“Lifting the state of emergency in many of 34 prefectures that exclude those under specific cautions will likely come in sight as many prefectures have been seeing no fresh infections lately,” Nishimura said in a debate on public broadcaster NHK.

Nishimura, who is in charge of the government’s overall coronavirus response, said a declining trend in the weekly number of new infections and the number of new cases on a per capita basis will be among evaluation criteria for the lifting.

Japan extended its nationwide state of emergency last week to the end of May but said it would reassess the situation at a coronavirus task force meeting on May 14 and possibly lift the measures earlier for some prefectures.

(Reuters)

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