Emergency to be lifted in Kansai, remain in Tokyo
NHK -- May 21
The Japanese government plans to formally endorse plans to lift the state of emergency declared in three prefectures in western Japan, while maintaining the emergency in the Tokyo metropolitan area and Hokkaido.

The central government is set to decide on Thursday whether it will lift the state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and six other prefectures. Last week, the government canceled the nationwide declaration for 39 other prefectures.

It's likely to be lifted for Osaka and its neighbors --- Kyoto and Hyogo. That's because the rate of new infections there has fallen below 0.5 per 100,000 people in the past week --- a benchmark set by the government for the emergency declaration to be lifted.

Officials also plan to decide whether to lift the declaration for Tokyo and its three prefectural neighbors as a group.

The rates for Tokyo and Kanagawa currently do not meet the criteria, although Saitama and Chiba do. The northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido also fails to meet the criteria.

The government is to consult its advisory panel of experts about its decision on Thursday. It will then inform the Diet of the plan before finalizing it at a taskforce meeting later in the day.

The government plans to continue to urge residents in Tokyo and its surrounding prefectures as well as Hokkaido to refrain from nonessential outings.

It says residents in prefectures where the emergency has been lifted should reduce contact between people to minimize infections.

政府は新型コロナウイルスの緊急事態宣言が続いている8都道府県のうち、大阪、京都、兵庫の3府県について解除する方針を固めて21日に正式に決定します。  政府は解除地域について午前に諮問委員会を開き、専門家から意見を聞いたうえで夕方の対策本部で最終的に決定します。解除の目安の一つである直近1週間の新たな感染者数が10万人あたり0.5人程度以下となっている近畿3府県については解除する方針です。一方、関東の1都3県については東京と神奈川が感染者数は減っているものの目安に達していないことなどから一括して継続し、同じく目安に届いていない北海道も継続する方針です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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