6 Japanese prefectures now under state of emergency

TOKYO: Commuters are seen in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday. Japan News-Yomiuri

The government has extended the current state of emergency, declared due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, from Wednesday through the end of this month. Aichi and Fukuoka prefectures have also been added to the four prefectures where it was already in effect: Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo.

Declared on April 25, the state of emergency had been set to end on Tuesday.

The current state of emergency is Japan's third since the pandemic began.

With the extension, the government continues to request dining establishments that serve alcohol or offer karaoke to close, as well as strongly request that people refrain from drinking in groups on the streets and in parks.

Although the level of infections has remained high, restrictions on the operation of large commercial facilities and the holding of events were eased in some areas.

Large commercial facilities, which had been asked to close all floors other than those selling daily necessities, are now able to stay open until 8 p.m.

Events that were only allowed to be held without live spectators in principle can now admit up to 5,000 spectators or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is lower, and can be held until 9 p.m.

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