Japan's manufacturing sector is beginning a slow return to normal after Tokyo today eased Covid-19 restrictions in parts of the country.
Premier Shinzo Abe's government has extended the nationwide state of emergency until the end of this month, amid fears that relaxing restrictions too soon could spark another wave of infection. The government will revisit the issue by mid-May of whether it is possible to lift the state of emergency in some regions or the whole country before 31 May, based on certain criteria including the number of infected patients and medical availability.
While some manufacturers today resumed operations by lifting voluntary restrictions to stop the spread of Covid-19, it is expected to take months before manufacturing activity returns to normal. The manufacturing slowdown has capped the country's demand for steel and metal materials, while curbing industrial demand for fuels.
Source: Argus Media
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