Govt. informs Diet of plan to lift emergency

May 25, 2020

National
Govt. informs Diet of plan to lift emergency

Tokyo (Japan), May 25: The state of emergency in Japan covering five prefectures, including Tokyo, looks set to end. The government is informing the Diet of the plan.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is scheduled to speak at a news conference at around 6 p.m.
Earlier on Monday, the government's coronavirus advisory panel expressed support for lifting the emergency declaration that has been in place for over a month.
Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi said, "The advisory panel has agreed that all prefectures no longer need to be under a state of emergency and that lifting the declaration is appropriate."
Nishimura said the government will review the situation roughly every three weeks, to gradually ease into social and economic activities, including large-scale events. The government is asking people to continue avoiding cross-prefectural travel until the end of this month.
The remaining prefectures under the emergency declaration are Tokyo and three others in the surrounding area as well as Hokkaido in the north.
Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko thanked people in the greater Tokyo area but urged them to remain cautious.
She said, "There could be a second or third wave of infections so I need to ask the citizens of Tokyo for their continued cooperation."
People had mixed reactions to the expected move, which comes earlier than planned.
One man said, "I'm still worried about a further spread of the infection. We cannot let our guard down yet."
Another man said, "If the state of emergency continues, it will take a very long time to recover. I think the government has made a difficult decision."
Stores and restaurants are welcoming the possible lifting of the state of emergency. A restaurant in Yokohama's Chinatown district, south of the capital, started preparing to resume operations over the weekend.
An employee at a Chinese restaurant in Yokohama says, "It was a long time. We are finally able to reopen the store. I hope Chinatown will regain its vigor."
Students in some areas are heading back to the classroom. A junior high school north of Tokyo began offering classes again on Monday.
A student said, "I feel like I've gotten out of shape. It's been a long time since I've been able to run in the schoolyard."
In total, more than 16,000 people have tested positive in Japan. Over 800 have died.
Source: NHK World