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A woman rides a nearly empty train in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Sunday.         --Photo JIJI

Abe to extend Japan’s state of emergency through May 31

JAPAN (The Japan Times/ANN) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to extend Japan’s state of emergency by around a month through May 31 amid rising fears that the continued spread of the new coronavirus could flood hospitals with patients, a government official said Sunday.
Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, economic revitalisation minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and health minister Katsunobu Kato met at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday. After analysing the situation, they agreed on the need to extend the emergency declaration through the end of this month. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike also confirmed in a livestreamed video on Sunday that Nishimura told her the government will extend the emergency status until the end of the month.
Abe is expected to announce the extension during a news conference scheduled to start at 6 pm Monday. The declaration, originally set to expire Wednesday following a one-month period, has led local governments to ask residents to stay home as much as possible and some businesses to shut to prevent the virus’s spread.
But another senior official said the government is also planning to allow the reopening of parks, museums, libraries and some other public facilities, even in areas with a relatively high number of infections.

(Latest Update May 5, 2020)

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