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No new state of emergency as nightlife drives Tokyo’s coronavirus spread

TOKYO – Japan will not reintroduce a state of emergency to tackle the coronavirus, a government spokesman said on Friday (July 3), as cases in Tokyo rose to a two-month high driven by the spread of the virus in the capital’s nightspots.

Tokyo reported 124 new cases on Friday, up from 107 the day before, partly due to increased testing among nightlife workers in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro districts.

But despite the spike, the number of serious cases is declining and there was no need to reinstate the state of emergency that was lifted on May 25, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.

Japan’s infection rates remain far below many other countries but the rising number of cases and the possibility of renewed restrictions have put the authorities and businesses on edge.

Tokyo is on amber alert – the third most severe in a four rank scale – Governor Yuriko Koike said, with its medical facilities ranked at the lesser yellow level, indicating they are not in immediate risk of being overwhelmed.

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