Japan weighs lifting Tokyo's coronavirus emergency May 25

Japan weighs lifting Tokyo's coronavirus emergency May 25

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed Thursday that the state of emergency remains in place for metropolitan Tokyo and Hokkaido, while that status will now be lifted for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

The government and an expert panel made the decision based on whether the number of new weekly cases fell to a benchmark of 0.5 per 100,000 residents, among other factors, such as medical care capacity and testing capacity.

Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba are considered a single area. Based on a Nikkei estimate, Tokyo's number of weekly cases per 100,000 residents was above the benchmark, at 0.56, while it was 1.08 in Kanagawa as of Wednesday night.

While the tentative end date for the state of emergency is set for May 31, the government expert panel plans to review the status next Monday for the five prefectures. "If the current [improving] situation continues, lifting could be possible," Abe said at a news conference later on Thursday.