(AP) — Japan’s government says the coronavirus state of emergency will end Thursday to help rejuvenate the economy as infections slow. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that virus restrictions will be eased gradually. With the lifting, Japan will be free of emergency requirements for the first time in more than six months. The current state of emergency, declared in April, was repeatedly extended and expanded. Despite public weariness and frustration over the measures, Japan has managed to avoid the more restrictive lockdowns imposed elsewhere while recording about 1.69 million cases and 17,500 deaths from COVID-19.