Japan to Lift COVID-19 Emergency outside Tokyo Area

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government decided Friday to lift the ongoing state of emergency over the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in six prefectures, excluding the Tokyo metropolitan area, at the end of this month.

The six are the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, the central prefectures of Aichi and Gifu and the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka.

The decision was made at a meeting of the government's COVID-19 response headquarters chaired by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, with the government finding that new COVID-19 infections have declined in the six prefectures, alleviating strain on medical services.

Meanwhile, the state of emergency will stay in place in Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa until March 7, as scheduled. The government will decide as early as March 5 whether to remove the emergency in the metropolitan area.

"It's important for us to not lower our guard, so we'll be able to end the emergency in all remaining areas on March 7, as planned," Suga told reporters following the headquarters meeting.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press