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Tokyo – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that he will declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures as early as Tuesday to bolster measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak, but that there will be no hard lockdowns.

Abe also told reporters Monday that his government will launch a 108 trillion yen ($1 trillion) economic stimulus package to help counter the economic impact of the pandemic, including cash payouts to households in need and support to protect businesses and jobs.

Abe said experts on a government-commissioned task force urged him to get a state of emergency ready as the COVID-19 outbreak is rapidly expanding in major cities including Tokyo. He said the state of emergency will cover Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and four other hard-hit prefectures, and will be in effect for about a month.

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