Japan on Monday lifted a state of emergency put in place nationwide since mid-April to stem the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic six days early.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ended the state of emergency in the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area and the northern province of Hokkaido, the last remaining areas of the country on high alert.
The move came six days earlier than expected, with the national state of emergency initially set to run until May 31.
Japan did not impose the kind of strict lockdown seen in Europe and elsewhere.
Residents were only requested to stay at home if possible.
Report say the country’s outbreak appears to be under control, with daily numbers of new cases falling for some time.
Japan has so far confirmed around 17,300 coronavirus cases of infections and around 850 related deaths.
Critics had accused Abe’s government of conducting fewer tests than other countries, though experts argue this is justified given that Japan has seen far fewer deaths and cases with severe symptoms