TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s state of emergency over the novel coronavirus could be lifted early in some areas of the country that have seen declines in new infections, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Thursday.

Nishimura told a news conference it was possible the emergency would be removed for some areas around May 14. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe extended the nationwide state of emergency until May 31.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chris Gallagher)