(Corrects paragraph 1 number of prefectures to seven, not eight)
TOKYO, June 17 (Reuters) - Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said on Thursday that a panel of government-appointed experts had approved a plan to downgrade the state of emergency in seven prefectures including Tokyo, which will host the Olympics from July 23.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Nishimura, who oversees Japan’s coronavirus response, said the latter half of the discussions centred on the wisdom of lifting the emergency state in Tokyo.
With the pace of decline in new infections slowing in recent days, some warned of a likely rebound and stressed the need to respond without hesitation through further curbs or even the reinstatement of a state of emergency, Nishimura said. (Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)