Japan PM vows no virus rebound as emergency measures end Chiba Fukushima China Japan Washington


Japan s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged Sunday to do his utmost to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus ahead of the Olympic torch relay and his upcoming visit to Washington

Suga was addressing his ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s annual convention, just hours ahead of the planned lifting of a virus state of emergency in the the Tokyo region. Suga said after the state of emergency is lifted is “an extremely important time” for virus prevention.

“We must not put our guards down … to prevent the infections from rebounding,” he said.

Suga on Thursday announced that the monthslong emergency measures for Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama would end at midnight Sunday, a move underscoring his government’s eagerness to minimize burdens on businesses and keep the economy going, despite concerns raised by experts about the potential for an upsurge.

The lifting of the measure comes just days before the Olympic torch relay starts from Fukushima, northeast of Tokyo and the site of the 2011 nuclear crisis, as a symbol of reconstruction.

Suga renewed his pledge to achieve the Olympics in July as “a proof of the victory against the coronavirus,” after its one-year postponement due to the pandemic. Olympic officials decided Saturday to bar spectators from abroad.


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