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Abe to declare emergencies across Japan today: What changes?

No road or rail restrictions, but cinemas, gyms and hotels to close

Morning commuters throng Shinjuku Station on March 16. The Japanese government's emergency declaration is meant to stop such crowding. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency Tuesday covering Japan's three most populous cities until May 6, escalating his government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though this declaration grants greater authority to Japan's local governments, people will face lighter limits on their activity compared with the far-reaching and restrictive lockdowns imposed in Italy, the U.S. and other countries.

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