Panel supports plan to end state of emergency

May 25, 2020

National
Panel supports plan to end state of emergency

Tokyo (Japan), May 25: The Japanese government's coronavirus advisory panel has expressed support for the administration's plan to lift the state of emergency currently covering five prefectures, including Tokyo. It 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 final five prefectures that will now have the emergency lifted are Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures - 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."
The steering committees of both chambers of the Diet will be briefed Monday afternoon.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is set to hold a news conference at around 6 p.m.
Stores and restaurants have started preparing for reopening.
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."
People shared mixed feelings about the expected lifting, which comes earlier than planned.
One man said, "I'm still worried about further spread of the infection. We cannot let our guard down yet."
Another man said, "If the state of emergency continues, it will take very long to recover. I think the government has made a difficult decision."
No new infections have so far been reported on Monday. In total, more than 16,000 people have tested positive in Japan. Over 800 have died.
Source: NHK World