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With nearly three-fourths of Japan’s 47 prefectures under a COVID quasi-emergency set to last until early March for some, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s plans to reopen the economy next month are facing headwinds as infections remain at record levels.

The current quasi-emergency designation began on Jan. 9 as the sixth wave of infections took hold, with the measure first covering three prefectures — Okinawa, Hiroshima and Yamaguchi — and later expanded to more than 30 prefectures, including Tokyo.

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