Image Source : AP

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe removes a face mask as he speaks at a press conference in Tokyo Thursday, May 21, 2020. Abe announced lifting of the measure in three of the remaining eight prefectures, while keeping it in place in Tokyo and four other areas.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has lifted the state of emergency that was put in place in Japan due to the outbreak of coronavirus. 

“We had very stringent criteria for lifting the state of emergency. We have judged that we have met this criteria,” the BBC quoted Abe as saying said in a televised address to the nation on Monday.

He said the country had managed to control the spread of COVID-19 since issuing the order in some areas on April 7, then later extending it nationwide.

Japan has been easing restrictions since mid-May, but kept several areas, Tokyo included, under watch to ensure the outbreak had been contained.

To avoid new outbreaks of the virus, Abe has urged people to become accustomed to a “new lifestyle” that includes maintaining social distancing, the use of masks outside as well as a series of guidelines for the reopening of shops, restaurants and public facilities.

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