Japan looks to extend Tokyo state of emergency to 20 June
Worries about variants of the novel coronavirus and a slow vaccination drive have prompted urgent calls from doctors, businesses and hundreds of thousands of citizens to cancel the Olympic Games, due to start on July 23.
Japanese officials, Olympics organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have said the Games would go ahead under strict virus-prevention measures, whether or not the host city, Tokyo, is under an emergency state at the time.
If approved by the government panel’s experts, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to officially announce the extension later on Friday.
Japan has recorded about 727,000 coronavirus infections and 12,597 deaths so far. About 6% of its population has been vaccinated, according to Reuters data, the lowest among the world’s larger, rich countries.