Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to lift state-of-emergency measures ©Getty Images

Outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to lift state-of-emergency measures in the country tomorrow, after more than two months of restrictions which covered the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Japan’s capital Tokyo was among the prefectures placed under restrictions on July 12, amid a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The restrictions led to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being held largely without spectators from July 23 to August 8.

The measures had initially been due to expire on August 22, but a high number of cases led to an extension.

This additional period covered Paralympic Games, which were held from August 24 to September 5.

Cases peaked in Japan on August 24 when in excess of 24,000 were reported, with the increase blamed on the Delta variant, which is viewed as more transmissible.

Japanese broadcaster NHK has reported that the Japanese Government will opt against extending the state-of-emergency measures, which are due to expire on Thursday (September 30).

"The situation has certainly taken a turn for the better," Suga said after returning to Japan from the United States, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

"I would like to decide after hearing expert opinions."

A state of emergency is expected to be lifted at the end of this month ©Getty Images
A state of emergency is expected to be lifted at the end of this month ©Getty Images

A Government taskforce will meet tomorrow, where approval is expected to be given for the state of emergency to be lifted.

"I think that we can lift the state of emergency at the end of September if the current infection situation continues," Health Minister Norihisa Tamura told NHK.

Restrictions have included limiting the operating hours of restaurants and times they can serve alcohol. 

Suga is poised to step down as Prime Minister on Thursday (September 30), the same date as the state of emergency would end.

Suga's time in office has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and Japan’s hosting of the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Liberal Democratic Party will elect his replacement on Wednesday (September 29).

Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and COVID-19 Vaccines Minister Taro Kono are viewed as frontrunners to succeed Suga as Liberal Democratic Party leader.

Sanae Takaichi and Seiko Noda, who both formerly served as Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, are seeking to become Japan’s first female Prime Minister.

The winner will lead the Liberal Democratic Party into the general election, which is due to take place on or before November 28.