Japan to end state of emergency over coronavirus infections

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TOKYO, 11 June : The Japanese government is planning on 20 June to decommission a state of emergency in Tokyo and several other prefectures, but a quasi-emergency state until the Olympics start in July, reports the Mainichi daily.

The prevalence of coronavirus infections in the Olympics city Tokyo in the last month has broken before limits on medical resources, although authorities remain concerned over the spread of variants and the ongoing strain on medical resources.

The Mainichi newspaper reported on Friday that the government would ask restaurants to keep shorter hours and impose other curbs under the targeted quasi-emergency measures. We are now banned from closing bars and restaurants by 8 p.m. and will stop serving alcohol.

A final decision is expected late next week, a few days before the end of current emergency state which also covers Hokkaido, host of the marathon event.

Polls show that a majority of the Japanese public thinks the Games will be held this year, so worried about the flood of athletes and officials from overseas. Japan closed to foreign visitors since the pandemic went on last year. The Japanese government and international Olympic organisers have said the games would go ahead – barring Armageddon, as one member of the Japanese Olympic Committee put it. The Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23. Report written by Chang-Ran Kim. Review by Gerry Doyle:

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