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As more countries ease their mask mandates, the top official overseeing Japan’s COVID-19 response has suggested that the government could recommend a phased relaxation of mask-wearing.

Economic revitalization minister Daishiro Yamagiwa, who is concurrently leading the government’s pandemic response, hinted during an NHK television program Sunday that such a gradual recommendation could eventually be in the cards as COVID-19 cases fall.

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