1. Japan is lifting its state of emergency for almost 80 percent of the prefectures ahead of schedule. But Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says people in those areas must continue to stay on the alert to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  2. A Japanese chemical manufacturer says it will resume production later this week of an organic compound needed to produce a drug for treating coronavirus patients. Tokyo-based Denka announced on Wednesday that its Omi Plant in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, will resume production of diethyl malonate, a key ingredient for the anti-flu drug Avigan, on May 16.
  3. A credit research firm says more than 130 Japanese companies have gone bankrupt due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Teikoku Databank said 81 companies filed for bankruptcy as of Monday evening. It added 52 other companies are in the process of liquidation. Thus a total of 133 firms have gone under.