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The government’s state of emergency over the novel coronavirus pandemic was extended in Tokyo and 18 other prefectures Monday.

The emergency, based on the special law for the fight against the virus, is now slated to run until Sept. 30. It was earlier planned to end Sunday. The 18 prefectures other than Tokyo include Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa, all neighboring the Japanese capital, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo in western Japan, Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, and Okinawa, southernmost Japan.

Eating and drinking establishments in the prefectures under the emergency continue to be requested by respective local authorities to close at 8 p.m. or earlier while the ban on the serving of alcohol remains in place.

The government aims to ease the strains on the medical systems in the prefectures in the hope of lifting the emergency.

The northeastern prefecture of Miyagi and the western prefecture of Okayama shifted to a pre-emergency stage over the pandemic from the state of emergency Monday, joining six other prefectures in the stage, including Fukushima in northeastern Japan and Ishikawa in central Japan. The pre-emergency stage was also extended and will last until the end of September.

Meanwhile, six prefectures — Toyama in central Japan, Yamanashi, west of Tokyo, Ehime and Kochi in western Japan, and Saga and Nagasaki in southwestern Japan — saw their pre-emergency designation lifted at the end of Sunday.

In areas with pre-emergency status, eating and drinking facilities had been allowed to offer alcoholic beverages until 7 p.m. if prefectural governors conclude that new cases of novel coronavirus infections are on a declining trend.

From Monday, they are allowed to serve alcohol until 8 p.m. and operate until 9 p.m.

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