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Japan lifts some COVID curbs ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Suga said accelerated vaccine rollouts provide hope for the Games

Japan's PM Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday. (Photo by Uichiro Kasai)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government on Thursday decided to lift the state of emergency in nine prefectures from Monday, though seven areas including Tokyo and Osaka will remain under a quasi-emergency state through July 11.

During a COVID response headquarters meeting, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the government will take a flexible approach such as strengthening countermeasures if infections increase or there are signs of the potential collapse of medical systems.

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