Japan to lift state of emergency

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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifts state of emergency amid drop in coronavirus cases

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to lift the state of emergency imposed due to the coronavirus crisis. He said on Monday that the country had managed to get the spread of the virus under control in under two months.

Social distancing curbs were loosened for most of the country on 14 May as new infections fell, but the government has kept Tokyo and four other prefectures under watch.

According to NHK public broadcaster, the world’s third-largest economy has escaped an explosive outbreak with more than 16,600 infections and 839 deaths so far.

A little over a month ago, health experts were saying Japan risked becoming one of the world’s coronavirus “disaster zones”. This report from the Guardian’s Justin McCurry in Tokyo looks at how the country’s government went on to win plaudits for its response to the crisis.