Japan's Abe expands state of emergency nationwide to halt virus spread

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe adjusts his face mask as he arrives to speak to the media on Japan's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at his official residence in Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday expanded Japan’s state of emergency to all areas of the country in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Abe said the emergency would be in place until May 6 and was aimed at reducing traffic during the Golden Week holiday season around the start of May.

Japan had previously declared a state of emergency for seven of its 47 prefectures.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher and Junko Fujita; Editing by David Dolan