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Japan lifts emergency in most areas though Tokyo remains on alert

Capital, Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido will have their status reviewed in 7 days

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces that 39 of his country's 47 prefectures are now free of the government's emergency decree. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday evening that he has decided to lift the state of emergency for 39 of the country's 47 prefectures, effective immediately.

Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama will remain under the decree, along with Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Hokkaido.

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