Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced May 25 that the state of emergency declared over the novel coronavirus crisis is over in Japan, ending curbs on economic activity in Tokyo and four other prefectures as experts judged the spread of infections is now under control.
Abe lifted the state of emergency that had been in place since April for the Tokyo metropolitan area including Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, along with Hokkaido Prefecture, about a week earlier than its scheduled end. But he warned that a reimposition is possible if infections spike.
With restrictions imposed under the state of emergency removed, the recession-hit economy is expected to regain vigor, albeit at a gradual pace. The five prefectures account for about a third of the country’s gross domestic product.
“I have decided to end the state of emergency across the nation,” Abe told a televised news conference. “In just over a month and a half, we have almost brought (the infection) situation under control.”
An advisory panel gave the go-ahead to the government plan to end the emergency earlier in the day after examining the number of newly reported cases over the prior week, the availability of medical resources, and the country’s capacity to provide virus tests and monitor the spread. (Kyodo)