Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is warning against a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in Japan. He urged people not to expect the virus to weaken in the coming hot summer months.
Abe spoke during a program streamed live on Sunday night. He said people should not be complacent this summer because the virus is spreading even in extremely hot countries in the Middle East.
The prime minister stressed the need to brace for the second wave by boosting the nation's healthcare system and increasing virus tests.
Abe said international travel restrictions will be gradually lifted, while anti-virus measures are implemented.
He said the government will cautiously study easing restrictions, taking into account the infection situations in individual countries.
He said coronavirus vaccine research is underway in Japan, while development efforts are also under way in the United States and Britain. He added that Japan is already in talks with vaccine developers to ensure access as soon as research is completed.