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Japan lifts state of emergency in remaining prefectures

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put an end to the country’s state of emergency, lifting the order for Tokyo and its surrounding areas and Hokkaido on Monday, local media reports. 

"Today the government will lift the state of emergency across the nation. We've set some of the most strict criteria in the world to lift the declaration, and we concluded that prefectures across the country have met that standard," said Abe in a press conference. 

The prefectures were Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Hokkaido. 

However, Abe said the move did not mean that Japan was rid of the coronavirus, and called for continued vigilance against a second of third-wave infection. 

"The lifting of the emergency does not mean the virus is gone or infections are down to zero. Our battle against the virus will continue," said Abe. 

As of Monday, the country reported over 16,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 851 deaths. 

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