Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a state of emergency for 39 of 47 prefectures in the country, excluding Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama.
During a news conference, held on Thursday (May 14,) Abe (without a face mask) released 39 prefectures from his nation’s state of emergency plan to be ended at the end of the month.
However, people living in crowded regions under the state of emergency as Tokyo and Osaka, will be asked to continue to stay at home to reduce new coronavirus infections cases.
“With the lifting of the state of emergency in many regions, today marks the real beginning of our efforts toward a new normal in the era of the coronavirus,” Abe said at a news conference.
“We are embarking on an extremely difficult challenge, which is to keep preventing the spread of infection and moving toward fully resuming social and economic activity,” he added.
Originally, Abe declared a one-month state of emergency by the end of the Golden Week (May 6) for seven urban areas, and expanded his plan to the wide nation on April 16, before extending it to May 31.
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