Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announced on Monday that the Japanese government has decided to lift the state of emergency for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the five remaining prefectures, on the advice of the advisory council and the special coronavirus taskforce.
That the last of the State of Emergency declarations are now lifted in the Tokyo Capital Region. Thus removing the state of emergency from the entire nation as of midnight on Tuesday. The State of Emergency was originally extended to May 31, making this an early lifting.
Tokyo had already planned to partially reopen on May 25, with some department stores opening up and some businesses resuming work under new conditions. Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike announced a three-stage roadmap of easing restrictions in the Japanese capital.
A new system for Tokyo will be set up to combat the virus called ‘Tokyo Alert’ where if numbers of new confirmed coronavirus infections go past 50, or if half of all new confirmed infections are untraceable, restrictions and requests from the metropolitan government may be declared again.
In the first phase after the Japanese government lifts the state of the emergency, museums, libraries, regular schools, sports facilities, and similar facilities would start to open, but no seating for spectators would be allowed until the second phase. Tokyo asked bars and other restaurants to close by 8:00 p.m. Under the state of emergency but would ask them to close by 10:00 p.m. After the state of the emergency ends.
The second phase could start as early as this coming weekend, but as late as three weeks from now. After Tokyo determines that the conditions are right, movie and performance theaters, tutoring and driving schools, meeting and exhibition halls, stores that offer non-essential goods and services, and similar facilities would reopen during the second phase.
Then, arcades, amusement parks, pachinko parlors, manga cafés, shooting ranges, gambling venues, and similar facilities would reopen in the third phase if more of the government’s conditions are met. Also, Tokyo would ask bars and other restaurants close by midnight in the third phase.
Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka from April 7 to May 6. Kyoto Governor Takatoshi Nishiwaki asked the Japanese government on April 10 to add Kyoto to the state of emergency. Aichi Governor Hideaki Ōmura similarly asked the Japanese government on April 16 to add his prefecture to the list, and then independently declared a state of emergency on April 17. Hokkaido had lifted its own three-week state of emergency on March 19, only to declare a second state of emergency on April 12.
Abe then announced on April 16 that the national government expanded the state of emergency nationwide until May 6. As required by the newly enacted law that allowed for this declaration, Abe met with the government’s COVID-19 task force of experts before formally announcing the expansion. The government later extended the state of emergency to May 31, but two weeks lifted it from 39 out of 47 prefectures, and last week lifting the state of emergency from all but five of the prefectures.
Tokyo saw 8 new confirmed infections on Monday, bringing the total number of infections in the capital to 5,160. Japan in total has topped 16,623 confirmed infections of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with 843 deaths, including 2 new deaths today in Hokkaido.
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