Japanese PM Announces Lifting of State of Emergency Over COVID-19

Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga called on his people to continue to be vigilant against the coronavirus while the state of emergency ends, Friday (1/10).

The state of emergency was lifted in 19 prefectures including Tokyo, as well as a pseudo-state of emergency in other areas, as infection cases have fallen from their peak.

Suga said vaccination rates in Japan had exceeded those in the US, with about 70 percent of its citizens having been vaccinated at at least one dose. “We are able to lift the state of emergency completely. 70 percent of all people have been vaccinated at least once and 60 percent of them have received a second dose,” said Suga.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to reporters at the office of the Japanese prime minister in Tokyo, September 28, 2021,

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to reporters at the office of the Japanese prime minister in Tokyo, September 28, 2021,

The Japanese government will gradually ease restrictions on restaurants and other activities, but Japanese citizens are asked to keep wearing masks and avoid close contact.

A number of commuters in the capital have questioned the meaning of an emergency as the virus is still around and they have to follow the same antivirus procedures.

“In my opinion nothing has really changed,” said Kaori Hayashi. The 37-year-old office worker said it looks like their way of life will not change after the state of emergency is lifted and they still need to be careful. “I will remain vigilant and live life as usual,” he continued. [uh/lt]

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