Japan lifts coronavirus-related state of emergency in most regions, Tokyo not included

Most of Japan’s prefectures, except Tokyo and seven others, will be lifting emergency restrictions imposed to battle the novel coronavirus outbreak, effective Thursday. 

The decision comes as the number of new cases of infection has consistently fallen in 39 provinces, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to say that the pandemic is “currently not spreading widely.” The regions mentioned account for 54 percent of Japan’s total population. 

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Japan declared a nationwide state of emergency last month, which gave the government more authority to set up lockdown rules in an effort to flatten the curve and stop the further spread of Covid-19. The country, along with China and South Korea, was a hotbed for the virus at the start of the pandemic, but currently ranks 34th globally in total number of infections.

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