Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has extended the country’s state of emergency nationwide ©Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe has extended the country's state of emergency nationwide to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Abe declared a month-long state of emergency in seven prefectures on April 7, amid rising fears about the pandemic in Japan.

The move applied to Olympic host city Tokyo, Osaka and the Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures.

Hyogo and Fukuoka were also included.

The state of emergency, the first of its kind in Japan, enabled Governors in the designated areas to ask residents to stay at home.

Their requests are not enforceable by law.

Governors can secure private buildings to be used as medical care facilities under the state of emergency.

The existing state of emergency is due to end on May 6, which marks the conclusion of Japan's annual Golden Week celebrations.

Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan's Minister in charge of issues related to the emergency declaration, reportedly claimed the nationwide extension was necessary prior to the holidays.

"The cumulative number of cases has topped 100 in Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Gifu, Aichi and Kyoto," Nishimura said, according to Kyodo News.

"It's an urgent task for us to take measures to keep the flow of people to the minimum before the holidays."

The "Golden Week" will run from May 2 to 6 this year.

The Japanese Government are seeking to reduce crowds to stem to spread of coronavirus.

The state of emergency is currently due to conclude on May 6 ©Getty Images
The state of emergency is currently due to conclude on May 6 ©Getty Images

Abe has called for an 80 per cent reduction in contact between people, as part of social distancing measures.

Non-essential workers have been asked to stay at home, while companies are being encouraged to operate remotely or stagger the shift patterns of staff to reduce the number of people commuting.

The Japanese Government are also reportedly set to provide each member of the public with 100,000 yen (£740/$930/€850).

The coronavirus pandemic led to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Olympics will now run from July 23 to August 8 in 2021.

The Paralympic Games will follow from August 24 to September 5.

Over 2.1 million coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide since the outbreak began, with more than 136,000 deaths recorded to date.

Japan has reported a lower number of cases to compared with other parts of the world.

Over 8,600 cases have been reported in the country since the outbreak began, but the amount of cases does not include the 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama.

A total of 178 deaths have been recorded in Japan to date.