• Jiji, Kyodo, Staff report

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday that the government plans to fully lift the COVID-19 quasi-emergency measures currently covering 18 of the country's 47 prefectures when they expire on Monday.

"Daily new cases nationwide have become about half the number of their peak, and the hospital bed occupancy rate (for COVID-19 patients) and the number of those recovering at home are continuing to decline, although there may be some differences among regions," Kishida said during a news conference. "The exit of the sixth wave is clearly in sight."

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