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Japan eyes 1-month regional emergency, but no quick exit for Tokyo

New cases in virus-stricken capital are more than double a key threshold

People walk past at a Japanese izakaya pub alley amid the coronavirus outbreak in Tokyo.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The state of emergency expected to be declared Thursday for Tokyo and neighboring areas is likely to last for some time based on the Japanese government's criteria for ending its decree.

The planned emergency covering Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba will be lifted in any given area as its coronavirus outbreak drops below the most severe level in Japan's four-stage scale. That scale is based on six indicators including hospital bed capacity, test positivity rates and cases without a traceable route of transmission.

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