Japan may end Tokyo state of emergency as early as next week: PM

Japan may lift the state of emergency in Tokyo as early as next week if new coronavirus infections remain low, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, raising hopes that the world’s third-largest economy may soon start recovering from recession.

After ending its state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo following a drop in the number of infections, Abe said that Tokyo and four other prefectures including the northern island of Hokkaido will stay under restrictions for now.

But a week after a stay-at-home recommendations were lifted for much of the country, Abe said that Japan’s capital city and its surrounding prefectures were showing promising signs that the rate of infections is coming under control.

“We will meet with experts (on Monday) to update the situation on infections,” Abe told reporters.

“If the current situation continues, it is possible that the state of emergency could be lifted in those areas.”