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New state of emergency in Japan unlikely anytime soon, top official says

JIJI

The government is unlikely to again declare a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic soon, following a recent surge in new infections in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga suggested Monday.

“We don’t think that the uptrend represents a situation requiring the government to issue a state of emergency again immediately or request the public to refrain from travel across prefectural borders,” the top government spokesman told a news conference.

Suga spoke ahead of Tokyo’s confirmation of 58 cases Monday, a day after 60 infections were reported in the capital. The daily figure has topped 50 for four days in a row, hitting levels not seen since early May.

A state of emergency was initially issued for Tokyo and six other prefectures on April 7 and was expanded nationwide later that month. It was fully lifted in May in stages.

Asked about a report from the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering that the cumulative number of novel coronavirus cases had topped 10 million worldwide, Suga said Japan would maintain the necessary measures. “We’ll continue to thoroughly implement border controls and take necessary measures to prevent the virus from entering Japan from abroad,” he said.

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