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Japan set to lift COVID emergency nationwide after months of restrictions

Nation to be decree-free for first time since April, but some curbs staying for now

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks to reporters during a press conference on Sept. 28 in Tokyo. (Photo by Hirofumi Yamamoto)

TOKYO -- Japan on Tuesday officially decided to lift its state of emergency covering Tokyo and 18 other prefectures at the end of this month, as the country makes progress on its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who will be resigning from his post on Thursday, said the government has focused on "securing the health care system, implementing thorough infection-prevention measures and accelerating vaccinations."

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