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Japan to lift state of emergency for nine prefectures, including Tokyo: Report

Japan to lift state of emergency for nine prefectures, including Tokyo: Report

The logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is seen on signboards at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building in Tokyo, Japan on Jan 22, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Issei Kato)

TOKYO: Japan will lift the state of emergency on Sunday (Jun 20) for nine prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, public broadcaster NHK reported on Wednesday, adding that the government will instead introduce "quasi-emergency" measures in seven of those prefectures.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga earlier told reporters the decision would be made on Thursday. 

Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said on Wednesday he was against lifting the emergency declaration "too easily", adding he would request quasi-emergency measures to avoid an infection rebound.

Japan will decide this month on whether to allow domestic spectators at the Tokyo Olympics, the government's chief spokesman also said on Wednesday, after experts signed off on a plan to allow crowds of up to 10,000 people at events.

READ: Japan to decide soon on domestic spectators at Olympics

READ: Japan government vows 'safe and secure' Olympics in economic blueprint

The final call on attendance at the Games will be made taking into account coronavirus infection conditions and the prevalence of variants, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters.

Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said health experts agreed with a government plan that would permit up to 10,000 spectators or 50 per cent of a venue's capacity, whichever is smaller, at events. Allowing such crowds depends on there not being special infection controls in effect, however.

Foreign spectators are already prohibited from the Olympics beginning on Jul 23 as part of measures planned to deliver what the Japanese government and Olympic officials promise will be a "safe and secure" Games.

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Source: Reuters/mi

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