All networks and Yomiuri and Nikkei gave top play to reports that the GOJ lifted the state of emergency for Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo yesterday. The government will reportedly decide whether to end the state of emergency in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, and Saitama as early as May 25. While noting that the number of new cases per 100,000 people over the preceding week in Tokyo was below the government target of 0.5 or lower for the first time yesterday, NHK said the infection routes for 9 of the 11 new cases in Tokyo are unknown. The network added that the number of new cases per 100,000 people in Kanagawa over the preceding week was alarmingly high at 0.87 on Thursday, quoting Shigeru Omi, the chairman of the government advisory committee on COVID-19, as saying that Kanagawa is becoming the focal point in deciding whether to lift the state of emergency.
Asahi, Mainichi, and Sankei led with reports on Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office chief Kurokawa’s decision to step down following an allegation that he played mahjong with journalists in early May despite the state of emergency over the coronavirus.