PM Shinzo Abe declares end to Japan's coronavirus emergency

Japan set to end Tokyo's state of emergency

Professional baseball and basketball matches - without spectators - as well as small events with up to 50 people, can also be held.

Denying the possibility of a quick recovery, he said, "I suppose the protracted way of life under the virus threat has changed how people spend their time and money" to a more introverted way.

"The government and the Bank of Japan will continue to work as one to resolve the situation by adopting all necessary steps.we will underpin corporate financing of Japan firms by mobilising an overwhelming amount of funds in an "all Japan" fashion", said Abe.

Since the virus containment measures imposed on April 7, sales at the pub have tumbled almost 80 percent from a year earlier, according to Hirota. All limits on tourism may lift on August 1.

There will still be some restrictions put in place by the Government, with citizens asked not to cross prefectural borders until the end of the month. She said theatres, sports facilities and other commercial establishments will be next, with nightclubs, karaoke and live music houses in the final phase.

"I want many customers to enjoy shopping again without worrying about COVID-19", he said.

Abe said the lifting of the emergency does not mean the end of the outbreak.

Last Friday, the Tokyo government outlined a three-phase roadmap for reopening.

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The first phase of lifting restrictions will see museums and libraries reopen, while restaurants will be open during the day, closing at 10pm which is two hours later than the state of emergency rules.

In Tokyo, cases of infection had been dropping with three on May 22 and two the following day.

A hasty economic reopening could simply increase the risk of new infections which could lead to a further economic fallout, he said.

Several countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia have called for a probe into the origin of the virus.

Abe then announced on April 16 that the national government expanded the state of emergency nationwide until May 6.

"We resolutely oppose the politicization and stigmatization of the origins of the virus", Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, adding that Abe's assertion is "contrary to opinions" by many medical research institutions and the World Health Organization.

Japan had imposed a state of emergency early last month for a period of one month to combat COVID-19 and later extended it until May 31.

Japan now has more than 16,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections with 820 deaths, a relatively low figure compared with other nations.

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