Japan poised to extend state of emergency

The Japanese government seems ready to extend coronavirus emergency measures in Tokyo and 8 other prefectures for another three weeks.

Emergency declarations for those areas are set to expire on Monday. Officials plan to extend it to June 20, the day Okinawa's emergency is set to end.

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide suggested he will make a final decision on Friday after consulting a panel of experts.

Tokyo's battle against the virus has seen slow results.
While new infections are declining, the daily average for the past week remains high, at around 600.

Experts suggest over 80 percent were infected by a more contagious strain first found in the UK.
Even more concerning is a cluster of infections linked to a variant that has crippled hospitals in India.
Given situations abroad, experts warn that strain could become more common.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said, "We're still at the beginning of our vaccination rollout so we have no choice but to continue to take thorough anti-virus measures."

Osaka has also been hit hard in recent months.
Officials there say they hope to keep urging bars and restaurants not to serve alcohol as part of efforts to control the spread.

Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi said, "I know it's tough for those establishments, but many people have been infected while out drinking."

The government is pressing ahead with its vaccination rollout which has been the slowest among the G7 nations.

About 300 universities across the country are offering up their campuses as inoculation sites.

Health authorities across Japan confirmed more than 4,100 new cases on Thursday and 111 deaths.