Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifts state of emergency

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lifted the country’s nationwide state of emergency, ending restrictions in the remaining areas where the order was still in effect.

“We had very stringent criteria for lifting the state of emergency. We have judged that we have met this criteria,” Abe said in a TV address to the nation on Monday.

The prime minister said the country had managed to control the spread of Covid-19 since issuing the order in some areas on 7 April, then later extending it nationwide.

Japan has been easing restrictions since mid-May, but kept several areas, Tokyo included, under watch to ensure the outbreak had been contained.

Japan has recorded a relatively low number of cases and deaths in comparison to other major economies. As of Monday, Japan had recorded 820 coronavirus-related deaths and 16,550 infections.

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