Prime Minister Abe announced today, May 14, that the government lifted the state of emergency in 39 out of 47 prefectures in Japan which was initially scheduled to be executed until May 31. However, the state of emergency in eight prefectures—Hokkaido, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo—remained in effect.
It was really good news which we had been waiting for. It was the result of our best efforts to cope with the new coronavirus. However, we should not let our guard down. People in those eight prefectures that remain under the state of emergency are requested by the government to refrain from going out for non-essential reasons, aiming at decreasing the number of patients infected with the new coronavirus infection, at least, by 70% or hopefully by 80%. Although the state of emergency in 39 prefectures was lifted, the government will continue to request people to avoid confined and crowded spaces, to wear masks, and to keep social distance.
When it comes to the crunch, the Japanese people unite. If we persevere now, we will surely have a bright future.