As a result of the fewest new cases being spotted in Tokyo in two months, Japan is considering lifting the state of emergency in Tokyo as soon as next week. Japan's national government had officially extended the state of emergency throughout the country until May 31st after a meeting of a COVID-19 council of experts, but had since lifted the state of emergency in 39 of the 47 prefectures in the country a few days ago. Now Japan is considering lifting it in Tokyo following a report of the smallest number of new infection cases with three being confirmed.
According to a report from NHK World, Japan's central government is considering lifting the state of emergency in Tokyo's metropolitan area "early next week" noting that "more than 5,100 people have tested positive for the virus in the city of about 14 million." Governor Koike Yuriko states that Tokyo now meets the criteria set by the government for potentially reopening.
A few regions in Japan are still in the state of emergency including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Chiba, Saitama, Kanagawa, Hyogo, and Hokkaido. Re-opening the country following the state of emergency is set in a series of waves with NHK World noting that phase one of the plan includes opening business, sports arenas, schools and more with a diminished capacity.
As for how this will impact anime productions, it's quite hard to tell completely. It's going to be a slow restart for many businesses, and even slower for many of the huge anime productions that have seen several delays and cancellations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We've begun to see some of the reopening process as movie theaters rely on older anime releases at this time, but it's going to be quite a while before something new premieres.
The entire world is in uncharted territory, and as productions either figure out how to work remotely or in person within the new guidelines set by COVID-19 spread prevention procedures we'll begin to see series trickle out. It might not be in time for the Summer anime season at this current rate, but Fall 2020 is looking strong right now.
What do you think? Will we see anime productions making their return sooner than expected? Would you be willing to wait until Fall or later for many of these new projects if that turns out to be the case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or talk to me directly about all things anime and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!