Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced Japan would extend the state of emergency for nine prefectures until June 20, about one month before the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Suga said despite decreasing Covid-19 infection numbers in Osaka and Tokyo, cases continue to be at high-levels and hospitals in Osaka are under strain.
“Infection is on the decline these days, however the situation is still unpredictable …Considering these situations I have decided to extend the declaration,” Suga said.
Just before Suga announced the extension, the head of the Tokyo 2020 Games, Seiko Hashimoto, said she expected it would happen and added that Olympic officials would not be making any decisions on spectators until the state of emergency was lifted.
“We want to make a decision as soon as possible but after the state of emergency is lifted, we will assess how we can make it open for general spectators following the direction by government," she said.