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The government decided Thursday to lift the state of emergency imposed in response to the coronavirus in all but eight of the nation's 47 prefectures, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces acute pressure to achieve a delicate balance — suppressing a resurgence of the virus while rekindling the faltering economy.

In a news conference at the Prime Minister’s Office, Abe said the country is showing signs of progress in the decrease of new patients and expanding testing infrastructure, but warned of the risks of flare-ups if restrictive measures are eased too abruptly.

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