|Combined photo (from L) shows Hyogo Gov. Toshizo Ido, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura and Kyoto Gov. Takatoshi Nishiwaki. (Photo by=Kyodo)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Japan considers lifting the state of emergency declared in six prefectures over the coronavirus pandemic ahead of its scheduled end date on March 7, government sources said Tuesday.
According to Kyodo, the declaration might be lifted this weekend in the six prefectures of Aichi, Gifu, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka due to sufficient improvement in their situations. Tokyo and its three nearby prefectures, however, are set to remain under the virus emergency until the original end date as their situation has not substantially improved. Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura also made a similar request, while Gifu Gov. Hajime Furuta indicated that the declaration would ideally be lifted in his prefecture at the same time as Aichi.
Earlier in the day, the governors of Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyogo had made a joint request to economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is leading the country's response to the pandemic, citing improvements in the number of hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients and the slowing pace of infections.