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Out of Japan’s muddled coronavirus response has emerged a grim forecast, one in which the country — unable to prevent subsequent waves of the pandemic — has no choice but to repeat the same countermeasures to stave off catastrophe until the population is fully inoculated. And all the while, the economy bleeds and the public grows more frustrated and less compliant.

But it doesn’t have to be like that way, experts explain to Ryusei Takahashi — if the government could only offer some hope in the form of a clear, unambiguous road map out of the crisis.

While 10 prefectures look set to remain under a state of emergency until at least June 20, the government is preparing to let the quasi-emergency status for three prefectures expire on June 13 as scheduled, while five prefectures would stay under the designation for now, Jiji reports.

A man has his temperature taken prior to receiving a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation site in Kobe on Tuesday. | BLOOMBERG
A man has his temperature taken prior to receiving a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation site in Kobe on Tuesday. | BLOOMBERG

Meanwhile, with the vaccination rollout gathering steam, local governments are coming up with a variety of “flexible measures,” as requested by the central government, to use surplus doses resulting from sudden cancellations and no-shows, Kyodo reports.

Yesterday’s (and last Sunday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 2,022 (2,853). By prefecture (50 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 351 (448), Kanagawa 249 (233), Hokkaido 183 (288), Okinawa 183 (271), Aichi 169 (305), Osaka 145 (197), Saitama 81 (122), Fukuoka 79 (152), Chiba 76 (93), Hyogo 58 (101). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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