Govt. to let COVID state of emergency lapse

The Japanese government is to let the coronavirus state of emergency and quasi-emergency restrictions lapse when their current terms expire on Thursday.

A state of emergency is currently in place in Tokyo, Osaka and 17 other prefectures.

Quasi-emergency restrictions are in place in eight prefectures.

Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and other ministers agreed on the plan during a meeting on Monday evening. The ministers include Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi, who is in charge of the coronavirus response, and health minister Tamura Norihisa.

The government will next consult with a panel of experts on infectious disease and other fields on Tuesday. If the panel backs the plan to let the declarations lapse, it will be finalized at a government coronavirus task force meeting.