Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is cautious over lifting restrictions in the capital city ©Getty Images

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has expressed caution over the potential lifting of the state of emergency in Japan’s capital city on Sunday (March 7).

The state of emergency in six prefectures was lifted by Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday.

The easing of measures came into effect in the Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka prefectures, six days earlier than planned.

Tokyo and the three neighbouring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba remain under state-of-emergency measures until Sunday (March 7).

According to Kyodo News, Koike acknowledged the decline in cases in Tokyo but said the capital city was set to fall short of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's targeted fall.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has set a target for daily new cases to fall to 70 per cent of the number confirmed the previous week, with the rate currently between 80 to 90 per cent.

"We may not make it in time," Koike said, according to Kyodo News.

"We have not been catching up to our schedule."

Tokyo has reported 232 new COVID-19 cases today, an increase from 121 yesterday.

Yesterday marked the lowest number of new cases in the capital since November.

The seven-day average for new cases in Tokyo has been 269.

January 7 marked the highest total of new cases in Tokyo, when the figure stood at 2,447.

Restrictions have been eased in six prefectures in Japan as new coronavirus cases fall ©Getty Images
Restrictions have been eased in six prefectures in Japan as new coronavirus cases fall ©Getty Images

Prime Minister Suga has suggested he will wait until the last moment to decide whether the state of emergency can be lifted on Sunday.

Japanese reports have suggested the Government may allow exemptions for athletes to enter the country when the measures lift.

This would enable foreign athletes to enter Japan to train prior to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games , as well as take part in qualification events.

Athletes would reportedly not be required to quarantine for two weeks on arrival.

The athletes would be restricted to hotels and training venues, along with being prohibited from using public transport.

This would effectively mirror the measures which are set to be taken at the Olympic and Paralympic Games later this year.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, with the Paralympics due to follow between August 24 and September 5.