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The Tokyo metropolitan government cites receding coronavirus (COVID-19) cases at home to curtain their activity restrictions by one level from the highest of four starting Tuesday, as per Kyodo News.

Key quotes

The Tokyo metropolitan government plans to end next week its policy of asking establishments serving alcohol in the capital’s central 23 wards to close by 10 p.m., as the number of coronavirus cases has been trending downward in recent days, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

The removal of the request could take place on Tuesday and the metropolitan government is expected to lower its virus alert by one notch from the highest of four levels, which means ‘infections are spreading.’

The plan will be finalized following talks with a panel of experts on Thursday, the source said.

In a related development, Japan will consider raising the upper limit for the number of spectators at sports, concerts and other events to up to 20,000 from the current 5,000, according to a senior government official.

Japan logged over 500 new virus infections on Wednesday, down from the 1,300-1,500 level in early August.

The number of virus cases in Tokyo has also been trending downward. On Wednesday, the capital reported 149 new cases, down from 300 to 500 in early to mid-August.

Tokyo raised its alert for the coronavirus pandemic to the highest of the four levels on July 15 following a spike in infections in the capital.

FX implications

Global markets seem to wait for Tokyo open to respond to the risk-positive news. Even so, USD/JPY remains positive around 106.20 by the press time of early Thursday morning in Asia.