Tokyo to further relax coronavirus curbs on Monday, governor says

TOKYO (Reuters) - Curbs in Japan’s capital of Tokyo to contain the coronavirus are to be eased further from Monday, Governor Yuriko Koike said, citing the recommendation of an advisory panel.

Cram schools, gyms, and theatres are among the facilities that will be allowed to reopen in a phased relaxation process, Koike told a news conference on Friday.

The city can “move to the next step of the phased easing of curbs, as long as Tokyo takes the necessary precautions to contain the spread of the virus”, she quoted the panel as having said.

Japan 'seriously concerned' over Chinese security laws for Hong Kong

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is “seriously concerned” about the move by China’s parliament to go forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that observers fear could endanger its special autonomy and freedoms, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.

In a rare statement issued minutes after the security bill was approved, Japan also called Hong Kong an “extremely important partner”, underscoring close economic ties and people-to-people exchanges.

“Japan is seriously concerned about the (Chinese parliament’s) decision...,” the ministry statement said.

Japan approves fresh $1.1 trillion stimulus to combat pandemic pain

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved on Wednesday a new $1.1 trillion stimulus package that includes significant direct spending, to stop the coronavirus pandemic pushing the world’s third-largest economy deeper into recession.

The record stimulus of 117 trillion yen, which will be funded partly by a second extra budget, followed another 117 trillion yen package rolled out last month.

The new package takes Japan’s total spending to combat the virus fallout to 234 trillion yen ($2.18 trillion), or about 40% of gross domestic product.

Japan police arrest man in Kyoto anime arson that killed 36

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese police on Wednesday arrested a suspect in the deadly arson at a Kyoto anime studio last year after he recovered enough from his own severe burns to respond to the police investigation.

Kyoto police said they arrested Shinji Aoba, 42, on murder and arson allegations, 10 months after obtaining the warrant because they had to wait for Aoba to recover. Police also reportedly waited to arrest him until Japan’s coronavirus emergency was fully lifted this week.

Japan lifts state of emergency over coronavirus for entire country, ushers in era of "new normal"

TOKYO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency in the five remaining prefectures still under restrictions, including Tokyo, as the spread of the virus has largely been brought under control.

"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," the Japanese leader told a press conference.

Europe lifts virus shutters as Japan ends emergency

25 May 2020; AFP: Europeans flocked to parks, gyms and pools Monday as more countries eased coronavirus restrictions, while Japan lifted its state of emergency but urged vigilance to avoid another wave of infections.

However the virus, which has now infected more than 5.4 million people worldwide and killed almost 350,000, continued its rampage across Latin America, sparking a US travel ban for people coming from Brazil.

Japan lifts coronavirus emergency in all remaining areas

Tokyo, May 25 (AP/PTI) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and four other remaining areas on Monday, ending the restrictions nationwide.

Experts on a government-commissioned panel approved the lifting of the emergency in Tokyo, neighbouring Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures, and in Hokkaido to the north, which had remained under the emergency declaration after it was removed in most of Japan earlier this month.

Asian shares climb, Tokyo gains on hopes for reopening

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares are mostly higher, with Tokyo stocks gaining on expectations that a pandemic state of emergency will be lifted for all of Japan.

But shares fell in Hong Kong on Monday after police used tear gas to quell weekend protests over a proposed national security bill for the former British colony.

U.S. markets will be closed for Memorial Day.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.5% in morning trading to 20,682.78. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.6% to 1,981.92. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.4% to 5,572.30.

Virus cases drop to zero in China but surge in Latin America

TOKYO (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic continued to drop in much of Asia on Saturday even as the outbreak surged in Latin America, as the world grappled with balancing the urge to restart economies with fears about health risks.

China, where the outbreak began late last year, reported no new confirmed cases for the first time. In South Korea, there were 23 fresh infections, mostly from the densely populated Seoul area where authorities shut down thousands of nightclubs, bars and karaoke rooms to stem transmissions.

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