Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared the state of emergency in the capital region and some other areas on April 7 and later expanded it to a nationwide order.
He announced at his press briefing Monday that his focus has now shifted to reviving the Japanese economy.
“Every area of the country has met the conditions for ending the emergency, which are extremely strict by global standards,” Abe said. “In Japan’s own way, we have largely brought the infection under control in a month and a half.”
The prime minister mentioned that two extra budgets will provide 200 trillion yen ($1.86 trillion) in economic assistance. The first extra budget implemented a few weeks ago, helped fund a record 117-trillion yen economic stimulus plan, a value equivalent to more than 20 percent of Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Lockdowns aren’t legally possible in Japan, according to Bloomberg’s report, so the state of emergency allowed local governments to instruct businesses to either close or operate for shortened hours, and to ask residents to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.
Abe told Japanese citizens to be prepared for a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and added that a state of emergency may have to be reintroduced if that were to happen. The prime minister added that border control will continue to be hardened as the virus continues to spread around the world.
As is the case in the United States, baseball is an extremely popular sport in Japan. Prime Minister Abe said Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Japan’s highest level of pro baseball, will return next month without spectators. He also said concerts could resume as long as crowds consist of less than 100 people.
Japan’s capital Tokyo was scheduled to host the 2020 Summer Olympics between July 24 and August 9. However, the Olympics were rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021 due to the pandemic.
Abe also told the nation that conditions in each region will be reviewed every three weeks to determine whether measures can be loosened further.