TOKYO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Tuesday extended the state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic in struggling regions for one month to March 7.

Among the 11 of Japan's 47 prefectures currently covered by the state of emergency, Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures will remain under the declaration, as well as Aichi, Gifu, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures, Suga said at a meeting of the government's COVID-19 task force.

Meanwhile, Tochigi Prefecture, located to the capital's north, will be removed from the emergency list as COVID-19 cases have eased in the area.

The southern island prefecture of Okinawa, which has been under consideration to be added due to outbreaks on remote islands, is left off the list.

The state of emergency, first declared by the Japanese leader in January for the Greater Tokyo Area as well as some other major urban areas that are densely populated including Osaka, was originally scheduled to end on Feb. 7.