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Japan Announces Easing Of Virus Emergency Ahead Of Olympics

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People walk by posters to promote the Olympic Games planned to start in the summer of 2021, in Tokyo, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(AP) — Japan has announced the easing of a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas from next week, with new daily cases falling just as the country begins final preparations for the Olympics starting in just over a month. Japan has been struggling since late March to slow a wave of infections propelled by more contagious variants, with new daily cases soaring above 7,000 at one point and seriously ill patients straining hospitals in Tokyo, Osaka and other metropolitan areas. Daily cases have since subsided significantly, paving the way for Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to downgrade the state of emergency when it expires on Sunday to less stringent measures. They will last until July 11 — just 12 days before the Games.

 

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