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Japan ready to expand virus restrictions as infections surge

KION

By YURI KAGEYAMA
Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s government is preparing social restrictions in Tokyo and other regions as the omicron variant of the coronavirus infects more people. Japan has never had a lockdown but has focused instead on asking restaurants and bars to close early. Crowds are back in many places, with people packing stores and events, while COVID-19 cases jump. The order will be finalized this week and is likely to take effect Friday for Tokyo and 12 other regions. An order was issued earlier for Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures. About 80% of the Japanese population are vaccinated, but only 1% have received the booster. Most experts think daily case tallies in Japan are an undercount because testing is not widespread and the highly contagious omicron is driving breakthrough infections.

Associated Press

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