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As predicted, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Friday that the state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Kyoto prefectures will be extended until May 31 and expanded to Aichi and Fukuoka, Ryusei Takahashi reports.

The reaction on the streets was mixed, Kyodo reports, with some worried about the future and skeptical about the effect of the continued emergency. And unsurprisingly, there was also plenty of weariness with the cycle of crackdowns and easings.

Japan’s confirmed new infections topped 6,000 for the third straight day Sunday, while the number of patients with severe symptoms rose to a record 1,144.

Japan extends COVID restrictions as Olympics loom | BBC NEWS
Japan extends COVID restrictions as Olympics loom | BBC NEWS

New nationwide cases surpassed 7,000 for the first time since mid-January on Saturday, with new cases in Tokyo overtaking those in Osaka for the first time since March. The health ministry said Friday that the number of suspected cases of coronavirus variants in the capital also now exceeds that in Osaka Prefecture.

Most Tokyoites stayed close to their homes over the Golden Week holiday, a report based on mobile phone data shows. Despite this, signs suggest the capital could be on the verge of an explosive resurgence of COVID-19 cases, reports Tomohiro Osaki, with the capital’s consultation hotline deluged with inquiries from residents struck by fever and other typical symptoms.

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