Japan to extend virus emergency until end of month

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan is to further extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and nearly 20 other areas until the end of September as the health care systems remain under severe strain though coronavirus infections have slowed slightly. The current emergency, which was to end on Sunday, was issued in Okinawa in May and gradually expanded. Despite the prolonged emergency, the largely request-based measures have become less effective as the exhausted public ignores them. The planned extension covers a period when Japan’s government is in transition. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is not running in a Sept. 29 race for his party’s leadership, and his successor in that race likely will be the next prime minister. His government has faced steep criticism over the virus.

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