The third largest economy in the world started to eliminate the emergency situation with the Covid-19 pandemic nationwide on May 25 after the number of new cases dropped significantly.
Japan lifted its emergency for Covid-19 nationwide on May 25 and gradually reopened the world’s third largest economy, according to AFP.
Government officials warn still needs to be careful to prevent another wave of infection.
“We have very strict criteria for lifting emergencies. We assess that we have met them,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a news conference.
Compared to the worst affected countries in Europe, the US, Russia and Brazil, Japan has avoided the most catastrophic results. Japan has recorded 16,581 cases and 830 deaths from corona virus.
On April 7, Prime Minister Abe declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas due to concerns about a spike in infections and pressure on the health system. After that, the state of emergency has expanded throughout the country.
Businesses and schools are encouraged to close and people are required to stay home. But the blockade of Japan is much softer than elsewhere in the world. Those who do not obey the law are not subject to any punishment.
Most of Tokyo’s famous streets have become quiet.
The number of new infections has dropped from a peak of about 700 a day to a few dozen a day nationwide.
The state of emergency was lifted over most of Japan last week. However, the government has chosen to wait before removing restrictive measures in the capital and surrounding areas, as well as the affected Hokkaido area.
Mr. Abe praised Japan’s success in smoothing the curve and said that the country “could show the power of the so-called Japanese model”.
But he warned that people would have to adapt to the “new normal” and continue to avoid the “three Cs” (enclosed spaces, crowded places and close contact).
“If we lower our guard, the virus will spread very quickly. We need to be alert,” Mr. Abe said. “We need to create a new way of living. From now on we need to change the way of thinking.”
Japan has been criticized for conducting relatively few tests, only about 270,000 tests were performed. It has the lowest per capita test of the seven most advanced economies, according to Worldometer.
But Japanese authorities insist that mass testing is not their strategy. They believe that the number of cases is still low enough to rely on finding contacts to control the outbreak.
However, testing has been strengthened in recent weeks. Authorities have warned that a subsequent virus infection could overwhelm their previous tracking strategy.