Japan to Extend State of Emergency through May 31

The Japanese government announced on Friday that it would extend the state of emergency in Tokyo and three other areas in an attempt to suppress the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the East Asian country.

In a statement, the government said that it initially hoped that the “short and powerful” state of emergency it has implemented before would provide adequate opportunity to suppress the fourth wave of infection in Japan.

However, economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, the one who is also in charge of the country’s pandemic measures, said that the spiking number of COVID-19 cases in the metropolitan city of Tokyo and Osaka remained at alarmingly high levels.

So instead of ending the state of emergency on May 11, the condition of Japan’s major cities compelled government officials to extend the state of emergency through May 31.

Despite the move, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is positive that the country can still host the Tokyo Olympics, leaving a margin of about two months before the Games begin on July 23.

“We are putting all our efforts into stemming the spread of infections,” Suga said in a press release on Friday.

Suga said that organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are already coming up with a series of anti-virus measures to safeguard the health and lives of the people.

“We believe it is possible to host a safe and secure Olympics,” he added.

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