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Japan eyes narrower COVID-19 emergency as new law allows fines

Expanded powers for governors provide alternative to blanket restrictions

A masked crowd in Tokyo's Shibuya ward: The Japanese capital and nine other prefectures are scheduled to remain under a coronavirus state of emergency until March 7.

TOKYO -- Japan will consider lifting its coronavirus state of emergency in some prefectures ahead of the new deadline, based on the law that takes effect Saturday allowing for fines against social distancing violators.

Japan extended its state of emergency by a month to March 7 in 10 prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka. Tochigi was the only prefecture in which the emergency was lifted as planned on Sunday.

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