World News

Japan's Abe to consult with experts to extend state of emergency until May 31 - NHK

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wears a protective mask after a news conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Japan April 17, 2020. Kiyoshi Ota/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, will consult with experts at a meeting on Monday to extend the national state of emergency until May 31, broadcaster NHK reported on Sunday.

The government will also discuss further action on how to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus epidemic that has infected 15,589 people and killed 530 in the country.

Japan is expected to declare the extension of the state of emergency after the meeting, and Abe will hold a news conference in the evening to address the nation about the pandemic.

The current state of emergency is set to expire on Wednesday, the last day of a week-long national holiday.

Japan’s economy minister said earlier the country could also ease some of the current coronavirus-related curbs on economic activity by allowing places such as parks and museums to reopen, provided proper preventive measures were in place.

Reporting by Sakura Murakami; Editing by Himani Sarkar