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On Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that the country’s state of emergency — set to expire in nine prefectures on Monday — will be extended until June 20, Ryusei Takahashi reports.

The top government spokesman said Saturday that some restrictions could continue beyond that date. Other curbs will be lifted earlier: From Tuesday, department stores, cinemas, amusement parks and museums in the affected areas will be permitted to partially reopen.

As for the vaccination effort, bookings for jabs at a large venue run by the Self-Defense Forces in Osaka are filling up much faster than at a similar site in the capital.

COVID-19: Japan extends state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures | CNA
COVID-19: Japan extends state of emergency in Tokyo and other prefectures | CNA

With slots at the Tokyo mass vaccination site in danger of going unfilled, the government opened up appointments to residents aged 65 or over from the three surrounding prefectures last week.

In another step meant to accelerate the rollout, the government is preparing to allow paramedics to give jabs. Fire departments, which employ most paramedic license holders, are discussing how to respond without leaving emergency services stretched.

Yesterday’s (and last Sunday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 2,878 (4,048). By prefecture (100 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 448 (535), Aichi 305 (431), Hokkaido 288 (605), Okinawa 271 (156), Kanagawa 233 (266), Osaka 197 (274), Fukuoka 152 (262), Saitama 122 (165), Hyogo 101 (111). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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