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International News

May 14, 2020
1:12PM

Experts on Japanese coronavirus task force approve government plan to end emergency

AIR PICS
Experts on the Japanese coronavirus task force approved a government plan Thursday lifting an ongoing state of emergency ahead of schedule in most areas, except for Tokyo and several other high-risk areas.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, after attending the task force meeting, said the experts approved a plan to lift the state of emergency in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures, while keeping the measure in place for eight others, including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido, where risks still remain high.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a month-long state of emergency on April 7 in Tokyo and six other urban prefectures and later expanded it to the whole country through May 31.

With signs of the infections slowing, Abe is seeking to relax the measure while balancing disease prevention and the economy. Japan now has more than 16,000 confirmed cases, with about 680 deaths. The number of new cases has significantly decreased nationwide.

Experts and officials have urged people to adopt “new lifestyles” and continue practicing distancing measures such as remote working and avoid out-of-town trips, even after the state of emergency is lifted.

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