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TOKYO (MNI)

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to declare a state of emergency on Thursday following the surge in coronavirus infections, which will lead to shorter business hours although schools will remain open, the Nikkei reported.

The emergency, the second since the pandemic began, will cover the Tokyo Metropolitan area as well as the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba and is expected to last roughly a month.

The governors of the four prefectures agreed to call on residents to avoid unnecessary outings after 8 pm JST (1100 GMT). Bars and restaurants will be requested to close by that time and high-risk school activities, including sports, may be cancelled, the report said. The request for shorter business hours will remain in effect until Jan. 31. The government may also delay resuming its "Go To Travel" campaign.