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Japan weighs lifting Tokyo's coronavirus emergency May 25

Restrictions scrapped in Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures as outbreak eases

Japan's state of emergency to combat the coronavirus, initially scheduled to be lifted on May 31, will be maintained in metropolitan Tokyo for now. (Photo by Masayuki Terazawa)

TOKYO -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed Thursday that the state of emergency remains in place for metropolitan Tokyo and Hokkaido, while that status will now be lifted for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures.

The government and an expert panel made the decision based on whether the number of new weekly cases fell to a benchmark of 0.5 per 100,000 residents, among other factors, such as medical care capacity and testing capacity.

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