In news making waves across the region, and further afield, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday ended the nation’s COVID-19 forced state of emergency to allow businesses to reopen, and life to return to normal.
The last four areas to see the lifting of measures were the capital Tokyo, Kanagawa, to the immediate south of the capital, Chiba to the east, and Saitama to the north.
All are considered ‘bedroom-towns’ to Tokyo, sending millions of workers to Japan’s capital each day.
The state of emergency had already been lifted elsewhere around Japan earlier in May after coming into force in early April across the country.
By lifting the lockdown in the remaining four areas, Prime Minister Able is looking to shore up his plunging approval ratings following a wave of public discontent that have seen his numbers hit the lowest level since he became prime minister for the second time eight years ago.
In large part as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. and subsequent lockdown measures, it was announced last week that the Japanese economy had officially fallen into a recession; the first to hit Japan since 2015.
As of May 26th, Japan has recorded 16,581 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 830 confirmed deaths.