Japan gov’t to decide on end of COVID-19 state of emergency

Sep 28 , 2021. 3 minutes ago – 09:56 KYODO NEWS

TOKYO – The Japanese government will formally decide Tuesday to end this week the COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and 18 prefectures as well as the quasi-state of emergency in other areas as infections have declined from their peak.

It will be the first time since April 4 that no part of Japan has been under either a COVID-19 state of emergency or quasi-state of emergency.

The decision to let the emergency and quasi-states of emergency, with the latter covering eight prefectures, expire as scheduled Thursday will be taken by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at a coronavirus task force meeting in the afternoon.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to reporters at his office in Tokyo on Sept. 28, 2021. (Kyodo)

The task force meeting comes a day before the ruling Liberal Democratic Party selects a new leader to succeed Suga.

Under the state of emergency, people are urged to refrain from nonessential outings and avoid going to crowded places, while restaurants are asked to close by 8 p.m. and not serve alcohol.

Infections across Japan have been falling since hitting a nationwide record of 25,876 cases on Aug. 20. A total of 1,147 cases were confirmed on Monday, with infections in Tokyo falling below 200 for the first time since March.

Tokyo was placed under its latest state of emergency July 12, about a week before the opening the Olympics, joining Okinawa, the only other area then subject to the measure. Other prefectures, including Osaka and Fukuoka, were placed under it in August.