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Japan to expand COVID state of emergency as cases hit new record

Tokyo's neighboring areas and Osaka to be added to scope of ban on pub drinking

People like these in Osaka would be affected by the new state of emergency should it go into effect.

TOKYO -- Japan is poised to expand the state of emergency on Friday to Tokyo's three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa as well as Osaka Prefecture in a bid to block the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The Japanese government will expand the emergency declaration if health experts agree to the proposal. If approved, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to announce the decision at a Friday news conference after meeting with the government's coronavirus response team.

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