COVID-19 pandemic in Japan

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COVID-19 pandemic in Japan
COVID-19 outbreak Japan per capita cases map.svg
Confirmed cases per million residents by prefecture[a]
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationJapan
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Index caseKanagawa Prefecture
Arrival date16 January 2020
(4 months, 1 week and 4 days)
Confirmed cases16,662[1](as of May 27, 2020)
Active cases1,990[1](as of May 27, 2020)
Recovered13,810[1](as of May 27, 2020)
Deaths
862[1](as of May 27, 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic was first confirmed to have spread to Japan in January 2020.[2] Cases have been recorded in each of the 47 prefectures except for Iwate. The country has seen over 10,000 confirmed cases.

The Japanese government confirmed its first outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country on 16 January 2020 in a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture who had returned from Wuhan, China. This was followed by a second outbreak that was introduced by travellers and returnees from Europe and the United States between 11 March and 23 March.[3] According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the majority of viruses spreading in Japan derive from the European type while those of the Wuhan type have been disappearing since March.[4][5]

The Japanese government has adopted various measures to prevent and mitigate the outbreak. On 30 January, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe established a national task force to oversee the government's response to the pandemic.[6] On 27 February, he requested the temporary closure of all Japanese elementary, junior high, and high schools until early April.[7] As the pandemic became a concern for the 2020 Summer Olympics, the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee negotiated its postponement until 2021.[8] On 7 April, Abe proclaimed a one-month state of emergency for Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo, and Fukuoka.[9] On 16 April, the declaration was extended to the rest of the country for an indefinite period.[10]

Some medical professionals and media outlets have criticized the Japanese government for under-testing for COVID-19.[11][12][13] Medical experts advising the government have instead relied on the country's pneumonia surveillance to identify and treat severely-affected patients.[14]

On 14 May, Japan released the registry to relieve the nationwide state of emergency COVID-19 in 39 of Japan's 47 prefectures or 54% of Japan's population, but it still applied in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Hokkaido, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Saitama.[15][16]

On 21 May, Japan ended the state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyogo prefectures.[17][18]

On 25 May, Japan ended the state of emergency in all of Japan.[19]

Timeline[edit]

COVID-19 cases in Japan  ()
     Deaths        Recoveries        Active cases

Jan Jan Feb Feb Mar Mar Apr Apr May May Last 15 days Last 15 days

Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-01-16
1(n.a.)
2020-01-17
1(+0%)
2020-01-18
1(+0%)
2020-01-19
1(+0%)
2020-01-20
1(+0%)
2020-01-21
1(+0%)
2020-01-22
1(+0%)
2020-01-23
1(+0%)
2020-01-24
3(+200%)
2020-01-25
3(+0%)
2020-01-26
4(+33%)
2020-01-27
6(+50%)
2020-01-28
7(+16%)
2020-01-29
11(+57%)
2020-01-30
14(+27%)
2020-01-31
17(+21%)
2020-02-01
20(+18%)
2020-02-02
20(+0%)
2020-02-03
20(+0%)
2020-02-04
23(+15%)
2020-02-05
25(+8.7%)
2020-02-06
25(+0%)
2020-02-07
25(+0%)
2020-02-08
26(+4.0%)
2020-02-09
26(+0%)
2020-02-10
26(+0%)
2020-02-11
26(+0%)
2020-02-12
28(+7.7%)
2020-02-13
33(+18%) 1(n.a.)
2020-02-14
41(+24%) 1(=)
2020-02-15
53(+29%) 1(=)
2020-02-16
59(+11%) 1(=)
2020-02-17
65(+10%) 1(=)
2020-02-18
73(+12%) 1(=)
2020-02-19
85(+16%) 1(=)
2020-02-20
93(+9.4%) 1(=)
2020-02-21
105(+13%) 1(=)
2020-02-22
132(+26%) 1(=)
2020-02-23
144(+9.1%) 1(=)
2020-02-24
157(+9.0%) 1(=)
2020-02-25
164(+4.5%) 1(=)
2020-02-26
186(+13%) 3(+200%)
2020-02-27
210(+13%) 4(+33%)
2020-02-28
230(+10%) 5(+20%)
2020-02-29
239(+3.9%) 5(=)
2020-03-01
254(+6.3%) 6(+20%)
2020-03-02
268(+5.5%) 6(=)
2020-03-03
284(+6.0%) 6(=)
2020-03-04
317(+12%) 6(=)
2020-03-05
349(+10%) 6(=)
2020-03-06
408(+17%) 6(=)
2020-03-07
455(+12%) 6
2020-03-08
488(+7.3%) 7(+17%)
2020-03-09
514(+5.3%) 9(+29%)
2020-03-10
568(+11%) 12(+33%)
2020-03-11
620(+9.2%) 15(+25%)
2020-03-12
675(+8.9%) 19(+27%)
2020-03-13
716(+6.1%) 21(+11%)
2020-03-14
780(+8.9%) 22(+4.8%)
2020-03-15
814(+4.6%) 24(+9.1%)
2020-03-16
829(+1.8%) 28(+17%)
2020-03-17
873(+5.3%) 29(+3.6%)
2020-03-18
914(+4.7%) 31(+6.9%)
2020-03-19
950(+4.0%) 33(+6.5%)
2020-03-20
1,007(+6.0%) 35(+6.1%)
2020-03-21
1,054(+3.9%) 36(+2.9%)
2020-03-22
1,086(+3.0%) 41(+14%)
2020-03-23
1,128(+3.9%) 42(+2.4%)
2020-03-24
1,193(+5.7%) 43(+2.4%)
2020-03-25
1,291(+8.3%) 45(+4.7%)
2020-03-26
1,387(+7.4%) 46(+2.2%)
2020-03-27
1,499(+8.1%) 49(+6.5%)
2020-03-28
1,693(+13%) 52(+6.1%)
2020-03-29
1,866(+10%) 52(=)
2020-03-30
1,953(+4.7%) 56(+7.7%)
2020-03-31
2,178(+12%) 57(+1.8%)
2020-04-01
2,384(+9.5%) 57(=)
2020-04-02
2,617(+10%) 65(+14.0%)
2020-04-03
2,920(+12%) 69(+6.2%)
2020-04-04
3,271(+12%) 70(+1.4%)
2020-04-05
3,654(+12%) 73(+4.3%)
2020-04-06
3,906(+6.9%) 80(+9.6%)
2020-04-07
4,257(+9.0%) 81(+1.25%)
2020-04-08
4,768(+12%) 85(+4.9%)
2020-04-09
5,347(+12%) 88(+3.5%)
2020-04-10
6,005(+12%) 94(+6.8%)
2020-04-11
6,748(+12%) 98(+4.25%)
2020-04-12
7,255(+7.5%) 102(+4.1%)
2020-04-13
7,645(+5.4%) 109(+6.9%)
2020-04-14
8,100(+6.0%) 119(+9.2%)
2020-04-15
8,582(+6.0%) 136(+14.3%)
2020-04-16
9,167(+6.8%) 148(+8.8%)
2020-04-17
9,795(+6.9%) 154(+4.0%)
2020-04-18
10,361(+5.8%) 161(+4.5%)
2020-04-19
10,751(+3.8%) 171(+6.2%)
2020-04-20
11,119(+3.4%) 186(+8.8%)
2020-04-21
11,496(+3.4%) 277(+48.9%)
2020-04-22
11,919(+3.7%) 287(+3.6%)
2020-04-23
12,388(+3.9%) 317(+10.5%)
2020-04-24
12,829(+3.6%) 334(+5.4%)
2020-04-25
13,182(+2.8%) 348(+4.2%)
2020-04-26
13,385(+1.5%) 351(+0.9%)
2020-04-27
13,576(+1.4%) 376(+7.1%)
2020-04-28
13,852(+2.0%) 389(+3.5%)
2020-04-29
14,088(+1.7%) 415(+6.7%)
2020-04-30
14,281(+1.4%) 432(+4.1%)
2020-05-01
14,544(+1.8%) 458(+6.0%)
2020-05-02
14,839(+2.0%) 492(+7.4%)
2020-05-03
15,057(+1.5%) 510(+3.7%)
2020-05-04
15,231(+1.2%) 521(+2.1%)
2020-05-05
15,354(+0.8%) 543(+4.2%)
2020-05-06
15,463(+0.7%) 551(+1.5%)
2020-05-07
15,547(+0.6%) 557(+1.1%)
2020-05-08
15,628(+0.5%) 601(+7.9%)
2020-05-09
15,747(+0.8%) 613(+2.0%)
2020-05-10
15,798(+0.3%) 621(+1.3%)
2020-05-11
15,874(+0.5%) 643(+3.5%)
2020-05-12
16,024(+0.9%) 668(+3.9%)
2020-05-13
16,079(+0.3%) 687(+2.8%)
2020-05-14
16,193(+0.7%) 710(+3.3%)
2020-05-15
16,237(+0.3%) 725(+2.1%)
2020-05-16
16,285(+0.3%) 744(+2.6%)
2020-05-17
16,305(+0.1%) 749(+0.7%)
2020-05-18
16,365(+0.4%) 763(+1.9%)
2020-05-19
16,385(+0.1%) 771(+1.0%)
2020-05-20
16,424(+0.2%) 777(+0.8%)
2020-05-21
16,513(+0.5%) 796(+2.4%)
2020-05-22
16,536(+0.1%) 808(+1.5%)
2020-05-23
16,550(+0.1%) 820(+1.5%)
2020-05-24
16,581(+0.2%) 830(+1.2%)
2020-05-25
16,623(+0.3%) 846(+1.9%)
Data sourced from Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and World Health Organization, as reported from 10:00|CET on the day to 10:00|CET on the following day (18:00|JST on the day – 18:00|JST the following day).

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Japan can be divided into two waves based on the genome sequence of the country's COVID-19 virus.[20][4][5][21] The National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) has determined from its genetic research that the COVID-19 variant of the first wave is derived from the Wuhan type that is prevalent in patients from China and East Asia. After entering Japan in January through travellers and returnees from China, the virus resulted in numerous infection clusters across the country before moving towards its disappearance in March. Japanese medical surveillance confirmed its first case of the virus on 16 January in a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture who had returned from Wuhan.

The first wave was followed by a second one that originated from a COVID-19 variant of the European type that is traced back to early patients from France, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Japanese medical surveillance detected the second wave on 26 March when the government's expert panel concluded the likelihood of a new outbreak caused by travellers and returnees from Europe and the United States between 11 March and 23 March.[3] The NIID has established that the majority of viruses spreading in Japan since March is the European type. This has led it to conclude that the data "strongly suggests" that the Japanese government has succeeded in containing the Wuhan variant and that it is the European variant that is spreading across the country.[22]

First wave (January–March)[edit]

January[edit]

On 16 January, Kanagawa Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19 when a man in his 30s who had previously travelled to Wuhan tested positive for it, marking the first confirmed case in Japan.[23][24]

On 24 January, Tokyo Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19.[25] The Japanese government announced that it would provide repatriation services for all Japanese citizens in Hubei Province on that same day. Officials negotiated with Chinese authorities to dispatch five chartered flights to Wuhan from 29 January to 17 February.[26]

On 27 January, Shinzo Abe designated the novel coronavirus as an "designated infectious disease" under the Infectious Diseases Control Law. He also designated the disease as a "quarantinable infectious disease" under the Quarantine Act.

On 30 January, Abe announced the establishment of a national task force to oversee the government's countermeasures against the novel coronavirus.[27][6]

On 28 January, Nara Prefecture and Hokkaido Prefecture confirmed their first cases of COVID-19. On 29 January, Osaka Prefecture reported its first case on January 29, followed by Mie Prefecture and Kyoto Prefecture on 30 January, and Chiba Prefecture on 31 January.

February[edit]

On 1 February, a passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship who had disembarked in Hong Kong on 25 January tested positive for COVID-19. The ship received quarantine orders from the Japanese government in Naha on that same day.

On 3 February, the Japanese government announced entry restrictions for all foreign citizens who had had a travel history to and from Hubei Province or had a Chinese passport issued from there.[28] The Diamond Princess arrived at Yokohama and was placed under quarantine by the Japanese government on the same day.

On 5 February, the Japanese government announced that several passengers of the Diamond Princess had tested positive for COVID-19.

On 12 February, the Japanese government announced entry restrictions for all foreign citizens who had a travel history to and from Zhejiang Province or had a Chinese passport issued from there.[29]

On 13 February, Wakayama Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19. A woman in her 80s died in Kanagawa Prefecture on that same day, marking the first death from COVID-19 in Japan.[30][31]

On 14 February, Okinawa Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Aichi Prefecture reported its first case on 15 February.

On 19 February, the Japanese government completed testing 3,011 passengers on the Diamond Princess.[32]

On 20 February, Saitama Prefecture and Fukuoka Prefecture confirmed their first cases of COVID-19.[33] Ishikawa Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture reported their first cases on 21 February, followed by Tochigi Prefecture on 22 February, Nagano Prefecture and Tokushima Prefecture on 25 February, and Gifu Prefecture on 26 February.[34]

On 21 February, the Japanese government began disembarking passengers from the Diamond Princess.

On 23 February, the US State Department raised its travel alert for Japan to level 2 on the four-level advisory scale due to the "sustained community spread" of COVID-19 within the country.[35]

People in Tokyo wearing masks

On 27 February, Shinzo Abe requested the closure of all elementary, junior high, and high schools from 2 March to the end of spring vacations, which usually conclude in early April.[7][36]

On 28 February, Hokkaido Prefecture declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus and requested its residents to refrain from going outside.[37] Shizuoka Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on that same day.

On 29 February, Miyagi Prefecture, Kochi Prefecture, and Niigata Prefecture confirmed their first cases of COVID-19.

March[edit]

On 1 March, Hyogo Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Ehime Prefecture reported its first case on 2 March, followed by Oita Prefecture on 3 March, Yamaguchi Prefecture and Miyazaki Prefecture on 4 March, Shiga Prefecture on 5 March, Akita Prefecture and Yamanashi Prefecture on 6 March, and Hiroshima Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, and Fukui Prefecture on 7 March.

On 5 March, Japan announced quarantine restrictions for all visitors arriving from China and South Korea.[38] On 6 March, the South Korean government protested the restrictions by suspending visas for all Japanese citizens travelling to South Korea.[39]

On 10 March, the Japanese government categorized the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Japan as a historical emergency situation.

On 13 March, Saga Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Nagasaki Prefecture reported its first case on 14 March, followed by Ibaraki Prefecture and Kagawa Prefecture on 17 March, and Fukui Prefecture on 18 March.

On 16 March, the Japanese government announced it would expand entry restrictions to all foreign citizens arriving from four additional countries. The restrictions applied to three areas in Spain (including Madrid), four areas in Italy (including the northern region of Liguria), Switzerland's Ticino region, and all of Iceland.[40]

On 19 March, the governors of Osaka and Hyogo prefectures asked residents to avoid nonessential travel between the two neighbouring prefectures over the three-day weekend starting on 20 March to contain the spread of the coronavirus.[41][42] The three-week state of emergency in Hokkaido was lifted on that same day.[43]

On 22 March, Okayama Prefecture confirmed its first case of COVID-19 and requested its residents to refrain from visiting the neighboring prefectures of Hyogo and Osaka.[44][45] Aomori Prefecture reported its first case on 23 March, followed by Gifu Prefecture on 26 March.

On 23 March, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike warned residents that a lockdown might be necessary if infections were to surge in Tokyo as she urged people to cooperate with government countermeasures.[46][47][48]

On 24 March, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games announced a one-year postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Second wave (March-present)[edit]

March[edit]

On 25 March, MHLW officials announced 71 people tested positive,[49] including 41 cases in Tokyo.[50] Governor Yuriko Koike held an emergency press conference in the late afternoon. She said that "the current situation is a serious situation where the number of infected people may explode." Koike also asked "if possible, work at home and refrain from going out at night as much as possible on weekdays." Koike asked people returning from abroad to refrain from going out for 14 days.[51] The request from the governor appears to have punctured the relaxed mood in Tokyo. Panic buying began to trend on Twitter, with users posting pictures of empty shelves and lines outside supermarkets. At the Don Quijote store in Nakameguro, customers hurried to grab instant noodles and canned goods immediately following Koike's late-evening speech.[52]

On 26 March, several governors of the Greater Tokyo Area, including Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Yamanashi, strongly urged residents to follow stay-at-home requests to prevent a surge in infections that could cause a "critical phase".[53] In Tokyo, residents were asked to work from home and refrain from going out at night and on the weekend.[54]

On 27 March, MHLW officials announced 112 people had tested positive in a single day, including three Hanshin Tigers professional baseball players.[55][56]

On 28 March, Abe held an hour-long press briefing about the economic measures being prepared by the Japanese government[57][58] amid considerable concerns of an "explosive spread of overflowing infections", which was creating regional self-isolation requests around Japan, including in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Aichi.[59] Abe's wife became the centre of controversy when she was accused of attending a hanami party during the pandemic. Abe denied the claim and said she merely took pictures in front of some cherry trees after going to a restaurant.[60]

On 29 March, MHLW officials announced 194 people had tested positive for the virus, including 58 people at a facility for the disabled in Tōnoshō, Chiba Prefecture, and 63 in Tokyo.[61] However, a Tokyo municipal government official acknowledged by the end of the day that 63 people in the city tested positive for COVID-19 on 28 March and that a record number of 68 people tested positive on 29 March.[62] It was also revealed that Tokyo now had 430 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the largest among Japan's 47 prefectures.[62]

On 30 March, it was announced that tarento and comedian Ken Shimura had died at the age of 70 from complications of a COVID-19 infection. This marked the first major death from the pandemic in Japan's entertainment industry.[63][64][65]

On 30 March, Fukuoka City announced confirmed cases in a woman in her 20s and her infant daughter.[66] On 30 March, Toyama prefecture announced its first case,[67] and a Kyoto government official announced that the Kyoto Sangyo University had undergone "a cluster of infections"—including two students who had recently returned from travel to Europe.[68][69][70]

By 31 March, calls were being made for Abe to declare a state of emergency.[71][72] However, Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga denied that a state of emergency was immediately necessary.[73]

April[edit]

Few pedestrians in Shibuya Crossing during the state of emergency

On 3 April, Japan expanded its entry ban, effectively barring entrance to the country for visitors from 73 countries and regions.[74]

On 7 April, Abe proclaimed a state of emergency from 8 April to 6 May for Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka. He also said there would be no lockdown like in other countries, and that public transportation and other services needed to keep the economy and society going would be maintained as much as possible.[75] This was the first emergency declaration in Japan.[76][77] Abe also stated that the pandemic had created the nation's greatest economic crisis since the end of World War II.[10]

On 9 April, Kiminobu Okada (岡田公伸), an executive of Mainichi Broadcasting System in Osaka, died due to coronavirus in Nishinomiya.[78][79]

Narita International Airport closed one of its two runways on 12 April due to an 85 percent reduction in traffic caused by the virus.[80][81]

A second wave of infections hit Hokkaido, prompting the prefectural government to declare a second state of emergency that closed schools and that asked residents to avoid non-essential trips.[43]

On 16 April, the Japanese government expanded the state of emergency to include all 47 prefectures in Japan.[82] The government also announced a plan to give 100,000 yen to every registered resident of Japan.[83]

On 19 April, first corona virus death in Chūgoku region was reported due to disease outbreak of COVID-19 in Hiroshima Prefecture.[84]

On 20 April, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, 25 people died in a single day, the highest number of daily nationwide confirmed fatalities.[85]

On 21 April, former chairman of Omron Yoshio Tateishi (立石義雄) died due to COVID-19 in Kyoto, according to the Omron website.[86][87]

On 23 April, 29 persons nationwide were confirmed to have died, including actress Kumiko Okae (岡江久美子)[88][89][90] and actor Shu Wada (和田周), according to a JMIAC confirmed report.[91][92]

According to a National Police Agency of Japan confirmed report, 73 police officers had tested positive since February, and there were an additional 15 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 from March found in people who had died outside hospitals, mainly most of people who were homeless and had been tested after death due to limited testing.[93]

On 27 April, minister Yasutoshi Nishimura was criticized for getting tested for the virus before other people who were showing symptoms. He took the test after a person in the response team he is part of tested positive for the virus, though he claimed to have not been in direct contact with the infected person.[94]

On 30 April, PM Abe announced on Thursday that Japanese authorities are struggling to increase testing to those suspected of being infected with coronavirus.[95]

May[edit]

On 1 May, smaller towns and villages began distributing the 100,000 yen stimulus payment to residents. Larger municipalities are expected to follow suit within the next two months.[96]

On 3 May, at the event held by the Japanese conference, Prime Minister Abe announced through a video that he intends to revise Japan's peace constitution in order to deal with the resolute infectious disease.[97][98][99] On this topic, the Constitutional Democratic Party leader Yukio Edano underscored Japan has the basic law on disaster management that also restricts private rights during the time of emergency and allows authorities to implement essential measures, saying the law can be applied in efforts to contain the coronavirus.[97][99] At a news conference on Friday, Democratic Party for the People leader Yuichiro Tamaki expressed that even after the corona virus situation has calmed down, the constitutional amendment can proceed in a quiet environment.[98] Komeito, the LDP ’s coalition partner, is also cautious about hasty talks on revising the Constitution. “It ’s important to hold discussions on constitutional issues in a calm manner,” Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi said on Thursday.[98]

On 4 May, the Japanese government decided to extend the nationwide state of emergency established in April until the end of May.[100] The prime minister said the number of new infections have slowed in recent days, but not enough to lift the state of emergency.[101] The Japanese government urged citizens in Japan to adopt a "new lifestyle" for a protracted fight against coronavirus, even after society begins to shift back to its normal state. The prime minister also stated that the government will reassess the situation after a meeting with members of its expert panel around May 14.[102]

As of 6 May, before Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura announced his own standards for Osaka Prefecture, which is named as "Osaka model", he expressed his desire for the Japanese government to clearly describe the requirements to lift the state of emergency.[103][104] Later, Minister Nishimura said that the comments were somewhat confusing and that he would set standards later.[103][104] Later, Yoshimura changed the critical tone of the remarks and apologize to the Minister Nishimura, on Twitter.[104] However, he expressed his anxiety and disappointment with the government, strongly stating that he would reveal his beliefs as a politician.[104]

On 7 May, schools in the lightly affected prefectures of Aomori and Tottori were reopened after closing following the nationwide emergency declaration.[105]

On 8 May, The Japanese health ministry on Friday relaxed its guidelines for giving coronavirus tests to people who have developed a symptom of infection, scraping the rigid fever rule which has been criticized for denying many potential patients access to the tests.[106] At his May 8 news conference, health minister Katsunobu Kato explained that various directives were issued to prefectural governments about the guidelines after complaints about the difficulty in receiving a PCR test.[107]

The Tōhoku region had its first reported death due to the virus on 9 May after a man in his eighties from Miyagi Prefecture died.[108]

On 9 May, Economic and fiscal policy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said that the government may lift the emergency for some prefectures before its expiration.[109] Later on May 10, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Kato Katsunobu referred to employment subsidies for businesses that do not fire their employees despite a drop in sales.[110]

On 11 May, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced plans to approve a COVID-19 Antigen Test Kit that produces results more quickly than the current PCR test.[111][112] On that same day, Yuriko Koike revealed that there was a miscount of confirmed infection which led to the inaccurate statistics.[113]

In the midst of this, criticism and concern are growing as there is not enough discussion about increasing the supply of the coronavirus test, and the issue of the extension of the retirement age of the prosecutor Kurokawa is being led by the Abe Cabinet.[114][115][116] Yukio Edano insisted that it was not right for the Japanese government to push the bill through turmoil during a disaster like a thief in a fire scene.[117] Few days later, Japanese Government and Abe Cabinet declared that they would rescind the legal change of prosecutor's retirement.

On 14 May, Japanese government officials and PM Shinzo Abe declared that they had decided to suspend the emergency of 39 prefectures, except for 4 prefectures in Kanto, 3 prefectures in Kinki, and Hokkaido, which are feared of collapse of medical system.[15][16] At the press conference, Prime Minister Abe urged to be vigilant even if the emergency was lifted, citing examples from South Korea, Germany, and Singapore as comparison targets.[118][119] It was the day after the news was reported widely that a sumo wrestler in his 20s died after suffering from a viral infection for a month.[120][121]

On 18 May, it was officially reported around the global market that Japan's economy officially enters recession with 'Much worse' expected from coronavirus for first time since 2015.[122][123]

On 21 May, the state of emergency is lifted in 3 prefectures in Kinki after they had cleared the threshold of having new infections below 0.5 per 100,000 people in the past week, resulting a total of 42 out of the 47 prefectures to be out of the state of emergency.[124]

On 25 May, PM Shinzo Abe has announced he's lifting the government's emergency declaration for the five prefectures where it's still in place.[125]

Government response[edit]

Phase 1: Containment[edit]

The initial response of the Japanese government to the COVID-19 outbreak was a policy of containment that focused on the repatriation of Japanese citizens from Wuhan, the point of origin of the pandemic, and the introduction of new border control regulations.[26]

On 24 January, Abe convened the Ministerial Meeting on Countermeasures Related to the Novel Coronavirus at the Prime Minister's Office with members of his Cabinet in response to a statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) confirming human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus. Abe announced that he would introduce appropriate countermeasures to the disease in coordination with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID).[126]

On 27 January, Abe designated the new coronavirus as an "infectious disease" under the Infectious Diseases Control Law (感染症の予防及び感染症の患者に対する医療に関する法律), which allows the government to order patients with COVID-19 to undergo hospitalization. He also designated the disease as a "quarantinable infectious disease" under the Quarantine Act, which allows the government to quarantine people suspected of infection and order them to undergo diagnosis and treatment.[127]

On 30 January, Abe announced the establishment of the "Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters" (新型コロナウイルス感染症対策本部), which meets at the Prime Minister's Official Residence and is run by a task force led by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management Okita Yoshiki.[27][6] The initial roster of the task force includes 36 high-ranking bureaucrats from several of the Ministries of Japan. The headquarters acts as the site of Abe's decision-making process on the country's virus countermeasures.

On 31 January, Abe announced that the government was prioritizing the repatriation of Japanese citizens from Hubei province. Officials negotiated with Chinese authorities to dispatch five chartered flights to Wuhan from 29 January to 17 February.[26]

On 1 February, the Japanese government enacted restrictions to deny entry to foreign citizens who had visited Hubei province within 14 days and to those with a Chinese passport issued from there.[128] On 12 February, it expanded those restrictions to anyone who had a recent travel history to and from Zhejiang province or had a Chinese passport issued from there.[29]

On 5 February, Abe invoked the Quarantine Act to place the cruise ship Diamond Princess under quarantine in Yokohama. Quarantine officers were dispatched to the ship to prevent the disembarkation of crew and passengers, and to escort infected patients to medical facilities.[129]

On 6 February, Abe invoked the Immigration Control and Refugee Act to deny entry to the cruise ship MS Westerdam from Hong Kong after one of its passengers tested positive for COVID-19.[130]

Reinforcement of medical service system[edit]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe convening the first Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting on 16 February 2020

After the COVID-19 outbreak on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, the Japanese government shifted its focus from a containment policy to a prevention and treatment one because it anticipated increasing community spread within Japan. This policy prioritized the creation of a COVID-19 testing and consultation system based on the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) and the government's 83 existing municipal and prefectural public health institutions that is separate from the civilian hospital system. The new system handles the transfer of COVID-19 patients to mainstream medical facilities to facilitate patient flow, triage, and the management of limited testing kits on their behalf to prevent a rush of infected and uninfected patients from overwhelming healthcare providers and transmitting diseases to them. By regulating COVID-19 testing at the national level, the Abe Administration integrated the activities of the national government, local governments, medical professionals, business operators, and the public in treating the disease.

On 1 February, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare instructed the municipal and prefectural governments to establish specialized COVID-19 consultation centres and outpatient wards at their local public health facilities within the first half of the month.[131] Such wards would provide medical examinations and testing for suspected carriers of the disease to protect general hospitals from infection.

On 5 February, Abe announced that the government would begin preparations to strengthen COVID-19 testing capabilities at the NIID and 83 municipal and prefectural public health institutions that are designated by the government as official testing sites. Without a uniform diagnosis kit for the disease, the government has relied on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests to check for infections. As few mainstream medical facilities in Japan can conduct PCR tests, Abe also promised to increase the number of institutions with such kits, including universities and private companies.[129]

On 12 February, Abe announced that the government would expand the scope of COVID-19 testing to include patients with symptoms based on the discretion of local governments. Previously, testing was restricted to those with a history of travelling to Hubei Province.[132][133] On the same day, the Ministry of Health and NIID contracted SRL Inc to handle PCR clinical laboratory testing.[134] Since then, the government has partnered with additional private companies to expand laboratory testing capabilities and to work towards the development of a rapid testing kit.[135]

On 14 February, Abe introduced the government's coronavirus consultation system to coordinate medical testing and responses with the public. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare worked with local governments to establish 536 consultation centres (帰国者・接触者相談センター) that covered every prefecture within the country to provide citizens with instructions on how to receive COVID-19 testing and treatment. The general public needs to contact a consultation centre by phone to get tested at one of the government's specialized outpatient wards (帰国者・接触者外来).[136][137]

On 16 February, Abe convened the government's first Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting (新型コロナウイルス感染症対策専門家会議) at the Prime Minister's Office to draft national guidelines for COVID-19 testing and treatment.[138] The meeting was chaired by Dr. Wakita Takaji, Director of the NIID, who brought together ten public health experts and medical professionals from across Japan to coordinate a response to the virus with Abe and the government's coronavirus task force in a roundtable format. The main concern of the Japanese medical establishment was overcrowding of hospitals by uninfected patients with light cold symptoms who believed that they had COVID-19. Medical representatives claimed that such a panic would strain medical resources and risk exposing those uninfected patients to the disease itself.[139][140]

On 17 February, the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare released national guidelines for COVID-19 testing to each of the municipal and prefectural governments and their public health centres.[141] It instructed doctors and public health nurses who staff the consultation centres to limit consultations to people with the following conditions: (1) cold symptoms and a fever of at least 37.5 °C (or need to take antipyretic medication) for over four days; and (2) extreme fatigue and breathing difficulties. The elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, and pregnant women with cold symptoms can receive consultation if they have had them for two days.

On 22 February, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato announced that the Japanese government was looking into the use of favipiravir, an anti-influenza medication developed by Fujifilm, to treat patients with COVID-19.[142][143] The company responded by increasing production of the drug, providing technical support to clinical researchers, and distributing the drug to hospitals where its use has been approved by the government for emergency purposes.

Phase 2: Mitigation[edit]

On 23 February, Abe instructed the government's coronavirus task force to quickly draft a comprehensive basic policy.[144] Health Minister Katsunobu Kato reconvened the medical experts from the first Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting on 24 February to draft this policy.[145] During the meeting, the medical establishment presented its policy recommendations in the form of a views report (Japanese: 新型コロナウイルス感染症対策の基本方針の具体化に向けた見解), concluding that the most important objective must be the prevention of large-scale disease clusters and a decrease in outbreaks and deaths. They stated that it would not be possible for the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Japan on a person-to-person basis, but that it might be possible to regulate the overall speed of infection.[146] They cited the next week or two as a "critical moment" determining whether the country would experience a large cluster that could result in the collapse of the medical system and socio-economic chaos. After reviewing and discussing the existing data on the disease, the committee stated that universal PCR testing was impossible due to a shortage of testing facilities and providers, and recommended that the government instead limit the application of available test kits to patients that are at a high risk of complications in order to stockpile for a large cluster. Participants also noted that Japan's medical facilities are vulnerable to "chaos," noting that many hospital beds and resources in the Tokyo area were already being used to care for the 700 infected patients from the Diamond Princess. They reiterated their warning that a rush of alarmed, uninfected outpatients with light symptoms of the disease could overwhelm hospitals and turn waiting rooms into "breeding grounds" of COVID-19.[147]

The objective of the Japanese government's basic policies for control is to "flatten the curve".

On 25 February, the Abe Administration introduced the "Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control" (Japanese: 新型コロナウイルス感染症対策の基本方針) based on advice from the expert meeting.[148] After a spike of infections in Italy, Iran, and South Korea, Abe decided that the government's disease countermeasures would prioritize the prevention of large-scale clusters in Japan. This included controversial requests to suspend such large-scale gatherings as community events and school operations, as well as to limit patients with light cold symptoms from visiting medical facilities to prevent them from overwhelming hospital resources.[149]

First, the new policies advised local medical institutions that it is better for people with mild cold-like symptoms to rely on bed rest at home, rather than seeking medical help from clinics or hospitals. The policy also recommended that people at a higher risk of infection – including the elderly and patients with pre-existing conditions – avoid hospital visits for non-treatment purposes, such as by ordering prescriptions over the telephone instead of in person.[147]

Second, the new policies allowed general medical facilities in areas of a rapid COVID-19 outbreak to accept patients suspected of infection. Before this, patients could only get tested at specialized clinics after making an appointment with consultation centres to prevent the transmission of the disease. Government officials revised the previous policy after acknowledging that such specialized institutions would be overwhelmed during a large cluster.

Third, the policy asked those with any cold symptoms to take time off from work and avoid leaving their homes. Government officials urged companies to let employees work from home and commute at off-peak hours. The Japanese government also made an official request to local governments and businesses to cancel large-scale events.

On 27 February, Abe requested the closure of all schools from 2 March to the end of spring vacations, which usually conclude in early April. The next day, the Japanese government announced plans to create a fund to help companies subsidize workers who need to take days off to look after their children while schools are closed.[150]

On 27 February, the Japanese government also announced plans to expand the national health insurance system so that it covers COVID-19 tests.[151]

On 9 March, the Ministry of Health reconvened the Expert Meeting after the two week "critical moment." The panel of medical experts concluded that Japan was currently not on track to experience a large-scale cluster, but stated that there is a two-week time lag in analysing COVID-19 trends and that the country would continue to see more infections. Consequently, the participants asked the government to remain vigilant in quickly identifying and containing smaller clusters. With more COVID-19 outbreaks around the world, the panel also proposed that new infections from abroad could initiate a "second wave" of the disease in Japan.[152][153]

On 9 March, the Health Ministry published a disease forecast for each prefecture and instructed local governments to prepare their hospitals to accommodate its patient estimates. It predicts that the virus peak in each prefecture would occur three months after the first reported case of local transmission. The Ministry estimates that at the peak Tokyo would see 45,400 outpatients and 20,500 inpatients per day, of whom 700 will be in severe condition. For Hokkaido, the figure is 18,300 outpatients and 10,200 inpatients daily, of whom about 340 will be in severe condition.[154]

State of Emergency declaration[edit]

Broadcast message asking people to stay home in Tokyo

On 5 February, the Abe Administration's coronavirus task force initiated political debate on the introduction of emergency measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak a day after the British cruise ship Diamond Princess was asked to quarantine. Initial debate focused on constitutional reform due to the task force's apprehension that the Japanese Constitution may restrict the government's ability to enact such compulsory measures as quarantines on the grounds that it violated human rights. After lawmakers representing almost all of the major political parties – including the Jiyū-Minshutō, Rikken-minshutō, and Kokumin-minshutō – voiced their strong opposition towards this proposal and asserted that the Constitution allowed for emergency measures, the Abe Administration moved forward with legislative reform instead.[155]

On 5 March, Abe introduced a draft amendment to the Special Measures Act to Counter New Types of Influenza of 2012 to extend the law's emergency measures for an influenza outbreak to include COVID-19. He met separately with the heads of five opposition parties on 4 March to promote a "united front" in passing the reforms. The National Diet passed the amendment on 13 March, making it effective for the next two years.[156][157] The amendment allows the Prime Minister to declare a "state of emergency" in specific areas where COVID-19 poses a grave threat to the lives and economic livelihood of residents. During such a period, governors of affected areas will receive the following powers: (1) to instruct residents to avoid unnecessary outings unless they are workers in such essential services as health care and public transportation; (2) to restrict the use or request the temporary closure of businesses and facilities, including schools, social welfare facilities, theatres, music venues and sports stadiums; (3) to expropriate private land and buildings for the purpose of erecting new hospitals; and (4) to requisition medical supplies and food from companies that refuse to sell them, punish those that hoard or do not comply, and force firms to help transport emergency goods.[158]

Under the law, the Japanese government does not have the authority to enforce citywide lockdowns. Apart from individual quarantine measures, officials cannot restrict the movement of people in order to contain the virus. Consequently, compliance with government requests to restrict movements is based on "asking for public cooperation to ‘protect people’s lives’ and minimize further damage to [the economy]".[159]

On 25 March, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced that the daily number of confirmed cases in Tokyo increased from 17 to 41 cases compared to the day before.[50] Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike held an emergency press conference in the late afternoon, stating that "the current situation is a serious situation where the number of infected people may explode." She requested residents to refrain from nonessential outings during the upcoming weekend.

On 26 March, the Ministry of Health reconvened the Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting to review the new data. The panel of medical experts concluded that there was a "high probability of an expansion of infections" within the country due to an increase in the number of infected patients returning from Europe and the United States between 11 March and 23 March.[3] In response to the statement, Abe instructed Economic Policy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura to establish a special government task force to combat the spread of the virus.[160] The move cleared a prerequisite toward declaring a state of emergency because any request for one by the Prime Minister would have to be approved by such a task force under the revised law.

On 30 March, Koike requested residents to refrain from nonessential outings for the next two weeks due to a continued increase in infections in Tokyo.[161] During a press conference held by the Japan Medical Association that same day, Kamayachi Satoshi of the government's panel of medical experts stated that his fellow panelists were divided over whether Abe should declare a state of emergency.[162]

On 1 April, the Ministry of Health reconvened the Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting to assess the current COVID-19 situation in Japan.[3] The medical experts discussed the data and concluded that although such urban areas as Tokyo and Osaka were witnessing a rapid increase in infection rates, they were not on a trajectory to experience a large-scale cluster seen in Europe and the United States. Experts were still concerned that infected patients could overwhelm the medical service system before an explosive spread of the virus as COVID-19 designated hospitals in major cities reached near capacity. They requested the government to secure more hospital beds for patients and transfer those with mild or no symptoms to outside housing facilities.

On 2 April, the Ministry of Health issued a notice that urged non-critical COVID-19 patients to move out of hospitals and stay at home or at facilities designated by local governments.[163] Prefectural governors across the country began arranging accommodation for such patients through hotel operators and dormitories and issued official requests to the Japan Self-Defense Force for transportation services.

On 3 April, Professor Nishiura Hiroshi of the Ministry of Health's Cluster Response Team presented the initial findings of his COVID-19 epidemiological models to the public.[164] He concluded that the government could prevent an explosive spread of the virus in Japan if it adopted strict restrictions on outings that reduced social interactions by 80 percent, while such a spread would occur if the government adopted no measures or reduced social interactions by only 20 percent. Nishiura added that Tokyo was about 10 days to two weeks away from a large-scale outbreak.

On 7 April, Abe proclaimed a one-month state of emergency from 8 April to 6 May for Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.[165] He stated that the number of patients would peak in two weeks if the number of person-to-person contacts was reduced by 70 to 80 percent, and urged the public to stay at home to achieve this goal.

On 10 April, Koike announced closure requests for six categories of businesses in Tokyo.[166] They include amusement facilities, universities and cram schools, sports and recreation facilities, theatres, event and exhibition venues. and commercial facilities. She also asked restaurants to limit opening hours to between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. and to stop serving alcohol at 7 p.m. The request was to take effect on 12 April and promised government subsidies for businesses that cooperated with it.

On 11 April, Professor Nishiura presented the remaining findings of his COVID-19 epidemiological models.[167][168] He determined that reducing social interactions by 80 percent would decrease the COVID-19 infection rate to a manageable level in 15 days; by 70 percent in 34 days; by 65 percent in 70 days; and by 50 percent in 3 months. Any rate below 60 percent would result in an increase in the number of cases.

On 16 April, Abe expanded the state of emergency declaration to include every prefecture within the country.[10]

Later on 4 May, Abe expressed that Japanese Cabinet would expand the state of emergency declaration until end of May.[101] Then on 14 May, Abe and his cabinet declared that Japanese Government decided to relieve the state of emergency declaration, excluding 8 prefectures like Tokyo, Kyoto Prefecture.[169] Some media expressed doubts about why only some of the easing standards were released under the name of comprehensive judgment.

On 21 May, the state of emergency is suspended in 3 prefectures in Kinki after they had cleared the threshold of having new infections below 0.5 per 100,000 people in the past week, resulting a total of 42 out of the 47 prefectures to be out of the state of emergency while 5 prefectures, such as Saitama, Kanagawa, Hokkaido, are waiting for lifting decision on May 25.[17][18]

Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting[edit]

On 16 February, Abe convened the Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting to incorporate members of the Japanese medical community into his decision-making process.[138] The panel acts as the main medical advisory body of the Japanese government during the COVID-19 crisis.

Chair

Vice Chair

Members

Government support measures[edit]

On 12 February, Abe announced that the government would secure 500 billion yen for emergency lending and loan guarantees to small and medium enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.[170] He also declared that his Cabinet would set aside 15.3 billion yen from contingency funds to facilitate the donation of isolated virus samples to relevant research institutions across the globe.

On 1 March, Abe evoked the Act on Emergency Measures for Stabilizing Living Conditions of the Public to regulate the sale and distribution of facial masks in Hokkaido. Under this policy, the Japanese government instructed manufactures to sell facial masks directly to the government, which would then deliver them to residents.[128] On 5 March, the Japanese government announced that it is organizing an emergency package by using a 270 billion yen ($2.5 billion) reserve fund for the current fiscal year through March to contain the virus and minimize its impact on the economy.

Controversies and criticisms[edit]

On 17 February, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare asked people who have had a fever over 37.5 °C for more than four days or those who have lethargy and difficulty breathing worse than those for influenza to consult with the coronavirus-related Return and Contact Consultation Centres around the country to determine if they should get tested for novel coronavirus.[171][172] However, some media outlets asserted that restrictive standards for testing would delay societal and public health responses, leading to the spread of the disease, which could later lead to the collapse of the health care system and the medically protected regional community.[12][173]

In late February, several Japanese media outlets reported that there were people with fever or other symptoms who could not be tested through the consultation centre system and had become "test refugees" (Japanese: 検査難民).[174][175][176][177] Some of these cases involved patients with severe pneumonia.[178] Hematologist and chairman of the Institute for Healthcare Governance Masahiro Kami [ja] claimed that many patients were denied testing due to their mild symptoms and criticized the Japanese government for setting testing standards that were too high and for lacking a response to patient anxiety.[179]

On 26 February, the Minister of Health Katsunobu Kato stated in the National Diet that 6,300 samples were tested between 18 and 24 February, averaging 900 samples per day. Some representatives questioned the discrepancy between the actual number of people tested and the claim in the prior week that 3,800 samples could be tested per day.[180]

On the same day, more doctors reported that public health centres had refused to test some patients. The Japan Medical Association announced that it would start a nationwide investigation and plan to cooperate with the government to improve the situation.[181] The Ministry of Health also stated that it would look into the situation with the local governments.[182]

The strict constraints on testing for the virus by Japanese health authorities drew accusations from critics such as Masahiro Kami that Abe wanted to "downplay the number of infections or patients because of the upcoming Olympics." It was reported that only a few public health facilities were authorized to test for the virus, after which the results could only be processed by five government-approved companies, which created a bottleneck forcing clinics to turn away even patients with high fevers. This has led some experts to question Japan's official case numbers. For example, Tobias Harris, of Teneo Intelligence in Washington, D.C., said: "You wonder, if they were testing nearly as much as South Korea is testing, what would the actual number be? How many cases are lurking and just aren't being caught?"[12][13]

Testing was still restricted to large hospitals in March 2020, with 52,000 tests, or 16% of the South Korean amount, performed that month. A decision to expand testing was made on 13 April 2020.[183]

On the other hand, the South Korean government criticized the Japanese government for restricting Koreans from entering the country to prevent the disease, saying these were "unreasonable and excessive measures".[184][185]

There are various problems arising in connection with the Emergency Supplementary Income policies promoted by the Japanese government. At first, there were many obstacles to rapid driving force as the 300,000 yen per household policy was changed to the 100,000 yen per population policy. In addition, there are some uncomfortable parts that make it easier to evaluate postal delivery applications more faster than online applications. In the case of postal delivery, it is possible to apply for each household more smoothly, but when applying online, separate paperwork for inspection are required for each local government office. In addition, since the application process for management subsidies is complicated, there are also side effects of financial disadvantages for small business owners and individual business owners.

Moreover, Prime Minister Abe's cloth mask distribution policy is also problematic, so there is some lack of clarity in budgeting. Furthermore, one of the companies involved Mask supply production that are suspected ghost companies. Besides, the problem of maintaining quality, which was the trigger, remains under the government's burden, and the issue of tax waste is pointed out.[186][187]

Medical response[edit]

The medical task-force advising the government, known as the Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting, has adopted a three-pronged strategy to contain and mitigate COVID-19 that includes (1) early detection of and early response to clusters through contact tracing; (2) early patient diagnosis and enhancement of intensive care and the securing of a medical service system for the severely ill; and (3) behaviour modification of citizens.[188] Medical experts have prioritized COVID-19 testing for the first two purposes, while relying on the behaviour modification of citizens rather than mass testing to prevent the spread of the virus at a large-scale level.[189]

Contact tracing against clusters[edit]

The Japanese government's COVID-19 countermeasures include public service announcements to avoid the "Three Cs".

On 25 February, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare established the Cluster Response Team (Japanese: クラスター対策班) in accordance with the Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control.[190] The purpose of the section is to identify and contain small-scale clusters of COVID-19 infections before they grow into mega-clusters. It is led by university professors Oshitani Hitoshi and Nishiura Hiroshi and consists of a contact tracing team and a surveillance team from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID), a data analysis team from Hokkaido University, a risk management team from Tohoku University, and an administration team.[191] Whenever a local government determines the existence of a cluster from hospital reports, the Ministry of Health dispatches the section to the area to conduct an epidemiological survey and contact tracing in coordination with members of the local public health centre. After the teams determine the original source of infection, the ministry and local government officials enact countermeasures to locate, test, and place under medical surveillance anybody who may have come into contact with an infected person. They can also file requests to suspend infected businesses or restrict events from taking place there.

From its contract tracing findings, the Ministry of Health discovered that 80% of infected people did not transmit COVID-19 to another person. The Ministry also determined that patients that did infect another person tended to spread it to multiple people and form infection clusters when they were in certain environments. On 24 February, medical experts advising the government defined this environment as poorly-ventilated and crowded places involving "close face-to-face contact (within an arm’s length of each other) in conversations and similar social interactions for more than a given length of time."[14] According to one of the experts, Kawaoka Yoshihiro, "[This meant that] you don’t need to trace every single person who’s been infected if you can trace the cluster. If you do nothing, the cluster will grow out of control. But as long as you identify a cluster small enough to contain, then the virus will die out."[192]

On 9 March, the medical experts reviewed the data from the Cluster Response Team's work and further refined its definition of a high-risk environment as a place with the overlapping "three Cs" (three crowdedness (Japanese: 三つの密, Hepburn: mittsunomitsu)): (1) closed spaces with poor ventilation; (2) crowded places with many people nearby; and (3) close-contact settings such as close-range conversations.[193] They identified gyms, live music clubs, exhibition conferences, social gatherings, and yakatabune as examples of such places. The experts also theorized that crowded trains did not form clusters because people riding public transportation in Japan usually do not engage in conversations.

During times when the number of infected patients rises to such an extent that individual contract tracing alone cannot contain a COVID-19 outbreak, the government will request the broad closure of such high-risk businesses.[194]

Reinforcement of the medical system[edit]

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has prioritized access to COVID-19 healthcare for elderly people, pregnant women, people suffering from fatigue or shortness of breath, and people with underlying health conditions.[14] During the initial stages of the outbreak, medical experts recommended the government to focus COVID-19 testing for contact tracing purposes and patients with the following symptoms: (1) cold symptoms and a fever of at least 37.5 °C (or need to take antipyretic medication) for over four days; and (2) extreme fatigue and breathing difficulties.[141] The elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, and pregnant women with cold symptoms could be tested if they had them for two days. Japanese physicians have relied on their pneumonia surveillance to shorten the process of identifying severely-affected patients.[14] The country's high number of computed tomography (CT) scanners (111.49 per million people) allows them to confirm suspicious pneumonia cases and begin treatment before testing them for COVID-19.

On 1 April, medical experts requested the government to secure more hospital beds for patients and transfer those with mild or no symptoms to outside housing facilities to focus treatment on the severely-ill.[3]

Behaviour modification of citizens[edit]

The Japanese government's medical task-force anticipates multiple waves of COVID-19 to arrive in the country for at least the next three years, with each one prompting the public to engage in a cycle of restricting and easing movement.[192] Under the current law, the Prime Minister can restrict movement by declaring a "state of emergency" in specific areas where COVID-19 poses a grave threat to residents. During such periods, the governors of affected areas can request citizens to avoid unnecessary outings and temporarily close certain businesses and facilities. Since the government cannot enact compulsory measures to enforce these requests, it has instead embarked on a social engineering program to train its citizens to comply with them on a voluntary basis during current and future state of emergencies.

To reduce person-to-person contact, the government has instructed the public to refrain from going to high-risk environments (the Three Cs: closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings) and events involving movement between different areas of the country.[194] It emphasized extreme caution when coming in contact with the elderly. The government also promoted such work-style reforms as teleworking and staggering commuting hours, while improving the country's distance learning infrastructure for children.

On 4 May, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare unveiled its program to create a "new lifestyle" (Japanese: 新しい生活様式) for the country's citizenry that is to be practiced everyday on a long-term basis.[195] Several elements of the lifestyle include behavior changes demanded under the state of emergency, such as avoiding high-risk environments and long-distance travelling. However, the program expands these precautions to cover more mundane activities by requesting people to engage in such activities as wearing masks during all conversations, refraining from talking when using public transportation, and eating next to one another rather than facing one another.[194][195]

Regional developments[edit]

The following are examples of the spread of infections for three of the eight regions in Japan.

Hokkaido[edit]

The first case was identified in Hokkaido on 28 January 2020,[196][197] and the first case of an infected person in Hokkaido was on 14 February.[196][198] To limit the spread of infection, the governor of Hokkaido, Naomichi Suzuki, announced the Declaration of a New Coronavirus Emergency on 28 February, calling on locals to refrain from going out.[199]

Kanto[edit]

On 13 February 2020, three confirmed cases were announced in the Kanto region, and one case was confirmed in each of Kanagawa, Tokyo, and Chiba. On 6 March 2020, it was confirmed that 121 infected people were reported in 5 prefectures, including Tochigi and Saitama. On 21 March, a total of 136 people were identified as infected in Tokyo, and a total of 311 people were confirmed in the Kanto region.

Aichi[edit]

The first case was identified in Aichi on 26 January 2020,[200] and the first case of an infected person in Aichi was on 14 February.[200] As the virus spread, Governor Omura of recognized that there were two clusters in the prefecture, mainly in Nagoya.[201] He emphasised the need to work with the Nagoya City Government to prevent the spread of infection.[201]

Socio-economic impact[edit]

Shelves in a pharmacy in Japan sold out of masks on 3 February 2020

Abe said that "the new coronavirus is having a major impact on tourism, the economy and our society as a whole".[202][203] Japan into recession. In Q1 2020 GDP there was 0.9 contraction, whereas in Q4 2019 GDP there was 1.9 contraction.[204] Face masks have sold out across the nation and new stocks are quickly depleted.[205] There has been pressure placed on the healthcare system as demands for medical checkups increase.[206] Chinese people have reported increasing discrimination.[207]

The aviation, retail and tourism sectors have reported decreased sales and some manufacturers have complained about disruption to Chinese factories, logistics and supply chains.[208] Abe has considered using emergency funds to mitigate the outbreak's impact on tourism, 40% of which is by Chinese nationals.[209] S&P Global noted that the worst hit stocks were for travel, cosmetics and retail companies, which are most exposed to Chinese tourism.[210] Nintendo warned that delays on shipments of hardware and accessories for its Nintendo Switch video game console would be "unavoidable" due to the impact on its Chinese supply chain and manufacturing, and on 7 April announced that shipments to Japan would be delayed due to increased demand for the device.[211][212]

On the same day the Nagoya Expressway Public Corporation announced plans to temporarily close some toll gates and let employees work from their homes after an employee staffing the toll gates was diagnosed positive for SARS-CoV-2.[213] Due to personnel shortages, six toll gates on the Tōkai and Manba routes of the expressway network were closed over the weekend.[213]

Sporting events[edit]

An announcement urging travellers to wash their hands in Tokaido Shinkansen

The outbreak has affected professional sports in Japan. Nippon Professional Baseball's preseason games and the Haru Basho sumo tournament in Osaka were announced to be held behind closed doors, while the J.League football and Top League rugby suspended or postponed play entirely.[214] On the weekend of 29 February, the Japan Racing Association closed its horse racing meets to spectators and off-track betting until further notice, but continued to offer wagering by phone and online.[215]

The outbreak expansion has affected sports schedule of school in Japan. Since these outbreaks led to concerns over the health risk of the students, sporting event, such as baseball, basketball, soccer, in school were suspended or postponed play entirely, due to unexpected postpone of education schedule by nationwide outbreaks, as well as other sports events decided to delay its season.

The expansion of COVID-19 into a global pandemic led to concerns over the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo. In March, it was announced that the Games would be postponed by a year, for the first time in the history of the modern Olympics.[216][217]

Entertainment[edit]

On 26 February, Abe suggested that major sporting, cultural and other events should be cancelled, delayed or scaled down for about two weeks amid the new coronavirus outbreak.[218] As a result, J-pop groups Perfume and Exile cancelled their concerts scheduled that night at Tokyo Dome and Kyocera Dome Osaka, respectively, both of which have a capacity of 55,000.[219] On 27 February, AnimeJapan 2020, originally scheduled to be held in Tokyo Big Sight in late March, was cancelled.[220]

A number of major amusement parks announced temporary closures. On 28 February, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disney Resort were temporarily closed from 29 February.[221][222] Universal Studios Japan also announced a closure the same day.[223] By mid-March, some attractions began to partially reopen, with Huis Ten Bosch and Legoland Japan Resort reopening with limited services (outdoor attractions only, visitors subject to temperature checks before entering) on 23 March.[224][225] However, the Disney parks and Universal Studios Japan delayed their re-openings until mid-to-late April.[223][226][227]

Affected by the shortage of outsourced staff due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many Japanese animated films and TV shows announced changes or postponed broadcasts due to production problems, including A Certain Scientific Railgun T (deferred for broadcast, changed to rebroadcast), Asteroid in Love, A3! (Delay extension), Kukuriraige -Sanxingdui Fantasy- (Delay extension), etc.[228][229] On 31 March, TV Asahi announced that Rio Komiya, who plays Jūru Atsuta in the tokusatsu series Mashin Sentai Kiramager, had tested positive for COVID-19.[230][231] While production had been suspended, it was stated that there were enough completed episodes to last through 10 May.[232][233]

On 25 March, it was announced that Japanese comedian Ken Shimura had tested positive for COVID-19.[234][65] Shimura died on 29 March at the age of 70.[235][236]

Distance learning[edit]

On 27 February 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested that all Japanese elementary, junior high, and high schools close until early April to help contain the virus.[4][237] This decision came days after the education board of Hokkaido called for the temporary closure of its 1,600 public and private schools.[238] Nursery schools were excluded from the nationwide closure request.[4] As of 5 March, 98.8 per cent of all municipally run elementary schools have complied with Abe's request, resulting in 18,923 school closures.[239]

Along with the school suspension, the online education was being piloted in some areas where the health crisis was not severe, but there was a concern that the education gap was widening in each region due to the limited online environment in Japan. Due to the sudden public health crisis, school closures are taking place in the middle of school, and education gaps in each region and childcare problems in the home have led to difficulties in education. While there are promising plans to postpone the start of the new semester to September, centered on local politics, there are also opinions that some require careful approach to changing the semester system. Promoters are pursuing a new semester change on the basis of bridging regional gaps and meeting world standards, and prudentists argue that the online education environment needs to be rapidly updated by region before the semester change.

Harassment[edit]

Due to prejudice and ignorance, social harassment is expanding in relation to infectious diseases. Because of their worries about being contracted, the number of cases where medical personnel's family commuting is restricted or people around the infected person are disturbed has increased. In addition, there are increasing cases where small business owners, who were inevitably operating, are forced to take self-sufficiency by neighbours who feel anxious and deprived.

While telecommuting is being encouraged, videoconferencing is also increasing the number of psychological pressures caused by authoritarian attitudes and sexual harassment. The negative effects of telecommuting also exacerbated the problem of privacy infringement, leading to exposure of privacy in the workplace and social pressure. Some companies have compulsory video conference participation rules, with public request of active reactions and optimistic expressions.

As the number of telecommuting cases increased, the number of working hours in the homes of workers increased, causing conflicts between women and men. In some cases, the number of cases of domestic violence has also increased by increasing discord among families.

Aid to China[edit]

On 26 January, Japanese people donated a batch of face masks to Wuhan.[240] According to the Liberty Times of Taiwan, these were actually purchased by China,[241] but Japanese media and the Japanese Consulate General in Chongqing [ja] stated that it was a donation.[242][243]

On 3 February, four organizations, the Japan Pharmaceutical NPO Corporation, the Japan Hubei Federation, Huobi Global, and Incuba Alpha, donated materials to Hubei.[244]

On 10 February, the Liberal Democratic Party's Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said that the party would deduct 5,000 yen from the March funds from members of the party to provide mainland China with support.[245]

Festivals and contests[edit]

The following major festivals were cancelled:

The following major fireworks events were also cancelled or considered to be postponed:

The following festivals were postponed:

The following major contests were cancelled or postponed indefinitely:

International travel restrictions[edit]

Restrictions on entry to Japan[edit]

On 3 April, foreign travellers who had been in any of the following countries and regions within the past 14 days were barred from entering Japan. This travel ban covers all foreign nationals, including those holding Permanent Resident status. Foreign nationals with Special Permanent Resident status are not subject to immigration control under Article 5 of the Immigration Control Act 1951 and are therefore exempt.[254]

Asia Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Oceania Australia, New Zealand
Middle East Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
Europe Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican City
Africa Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco
North America Canada, United States
Latin America & Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis

Japanese citizens and holders of Special Permanent Resident status may return to Japan from these countries, but must undergo quarantine upon arrival until testing negative for COVID-19.

Restrictions on entry from Japan[edit]

The following countries and territories have restricted entry from Japan:

Statistics[edit]

Statistics by prefecture[edit]

Cumulative confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection cases in Japan by prefecture,
as of 2020/05/26[265][i 1] ()

National 16662 862
Island Region Pref. Cases Deaths
 Hokkaido 1066 84
Honshū Tōhoku  Aomori Prefecture 27 1
 Akita Prefecture 16
 Iwate Prefecture 0
 Miyagi Prefecture 88 1
 Yamagata Prefecture 69
 Fukushima Prefecture 81
Kantō  Tochigi Prefecture 65
 Ibaraki Prefecture 168 10
 Chiba Prefecture 898 44
 Tokyo 5170 292
 Kanagawa Prefecture 1334 78
 Saitama Prefecture 997 47
 Gunma Prefecture 149 19
Chūbu  Niigata Prefecture 82
 Toyama Prefecture 227 21
 Nagano Prefecture 76
 Yamanashi Prefecture 60 1
 Shizuoka Prefecture 75 1
 Aichi Prefecture 510 34
 Ishikawa Prefecture 296 24
 Fukui Prefecture 122 8
 Gifu Prefecture 150 7
Kinki (Kansai)  Mie Prefecture 45 1
 Shiga Prefecture 100 1
 Wakayama Prefecture 63 3
 Nara Prefecture 91 2
 Kyoto Prefecture 358 16
 Osaka Prefecture 1781 80
 Hyōgo Prefecture 699 40
Chūgoku  Okayama Prefecture 25
 Tottori Prefecture 3
 Shimane Prefecture 24
 Hiroshima Prefecture 167 3
 Yamaguchi Prefecture 37
Shikoku  Kagawa Prefecture 28
 Tokushima Prefecture 5 1
 Kōchi Prefecture 74 3
 Ehime Prefecture 81 4
Kyushu  Ōita Prefecture 60 1
 Fukuoka Prefecture 674 25
 Saga Prefecture 47
 Nagasaki Prefecture[i 2] 17 1
 Kumamoto Prefecture 48 3
 Miyazaki Prefecture 17
 Kagoshima Prefecture 10
 Okinawa Prefecture 142 6
Others Repatriated 14
Airport 177
Costa Atlantica (cruise ship) 149

New COVID-19 cases in Japan by prefecture ()

Date
Hokkaidō
Honshū Shikoku Kyūshū
Okinawa
Other Date Cases Deaths Total
disch.
[i 3]
Total
tested
[i 3]
Sources
Tōhoku Kantō Chūbu Kinki (Kansai) Chūgoku
Aomori
Akita
Iwate
Miyagi
Yamagata
Fukushima
Tochigi
Ibaraki
Chiba
Tōkyō
Kanagawa
Saitama
Gunma
Niigata
Toyama
Nagano
Yamanashi
Shizuoka
Aichi
Ishikawa
Fukui
Gifu
Mie
Shiga
Wakayama
Nara
Kyōto
Ōsaka
Hyōgo
Okayama
Tottori
Shimane
Hiroshima
Yamaguchi
Kagawa
Tokushima
Kōchi
Ehime
Ōita
Fukuoka
Saga
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Miyazaki
Kagoshima
Airport
Repatriated
Abroad
new cml new cml
2020/01/16 (1) 2020/01/16 1 1 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/24 (1) 2020/01/24 1 2 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/25 (1) 2020/01/25 1 3 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/26 (1) 2020/01/26 1 4 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/28 (1) (1) 1 2020/01/28 3 7 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/29 1 2020/01/29 1 8 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/30 (1) (1) (1) (3) 2020/01/30 6 14 - - N/A N/A
2020/01/31 1 (2) 2020/01/31 3 17 - - N/A N/A
2020/02/01 (3) 2020/02/01 3 20 - - N/A N/A
2020/02/04 (1) (1) (1)
[i 4]
2020/02/04 3 23 - - 2 N/A [266]
2020/02/05 (1) 1 2020/02/05 2 25 - - 4 N/A [267]
2020/02/08 (1) 2020/02/08 1 26 - - N/A N/A
2020/02/11 (2) 2020/02/11 2 28 - - 10 954 [268]
2020/02/12 1[i 5] 2020/02/12 1 29 - - 11 964 [269]
2020/02/13 1 1 1 1 2020/02/13 4 33 1 1 12 978 [270]
2020/02/14 1 2 1 1 1 1 (1) 2020/02/14 8 41 - 1 N/A N/A [271]
2020/02/15 8 1 3 2020/02/15 12 53 - 1 N/A N/A [272]
2020/02/16 4 1 1 2020/02/16 6 59 - 1 16 1,251 [273]
2020/02/17 1 1 4 1[i 6] 2020/02/17 7 66 - 1 16 1,287 [274]
2020/02/18 3 1 1 3 2020/02/18 8 74 - 1 18 1,296 [275]
2020/02/19 2 3 2 1 1 (1) 2020/02/19 10 84 - 1 20 1,432 [276]
2020/02/20 1 1 2 1 2 1 2[i 7] 2020/02/20 10 94 - 1 20 1,522 [277]
2020/02/21 3 1 3 3 2 1 1 (1) 2020/02/21 15 109 - 1 21 1,607 [278]
2020/02/22 9 1 2 2 4 4 1 1 2 2020/02/22 26 135 - 1 24 1,703 [279]
2020/02/23 9 1 2 2020/02/23 12 147 - 1 26 1,742 [280]
2020/02/24 4 3 1 2 1 2 2020/02/24 13 160 - 1 27 1,846 [281]
2020/02/25 5 1 3 1 1 2020/02/25 11 171 - 1 32 1,890 [282]
2020/02/26 4 2 3 1 1 5 1 1 2020/02/26 18 189 2 3 40 2,058 [283]
2020/02/27 15 1 3 2 1 1 1 1 2020/02/27 25 214 1 4 41 2,209 [284]
2020/02/28 12 2 1 1 1 2 1 2020/02/28 20 234 2 5 42 2,339 [285]
2020/02/29 4 1 1 1 1 1 2020/02/29 9 243 - 5 42 2,517 [286]
Date
Hokkaidō
Aomori
Akita
Iwate
Miyagi
Yamagata
Fukushima
Tochigi
Ibaraki
Chiba
Tōkyō
Kanagawa
Saitama
Gunma
Niigata
Toyama
Nagano
Yamanashi
Shizuoka
Aichi
Ishikawa
Fukui
Gifu
Mie
Shiga
Wakayama
Nara
Kyōto
Ōsaka
Hyōgo
Okayama
Tottori
Shimane
Hiroshima
Yamaguchi
Kagawa
Tokushima
Kōchi
Ehime
Ōita
Fukuoka
Saga
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Miyazaki
Kagoshima
Okinawa
Airport
Repatriated
Abroad
Date N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2020/03/01 2 1 2 3 3 1 1 1 2020/03/01 14 257 1 6 43 2,613 [287]
2020/03/02 5 1 4 4 2 1 1 2020/03/02 18 275 - 6 46 2,684 [288]
2020/03/03 2 1 1 9 1 2 2 1 2020/03/03 19 294 - 6 48 6,519 [289]
2020/03/04 3 1 4 8 2 9 1 4 1 1 1 1[i 8] 2020/03/04 36 330 - 6 49 6,777 [290]
2020/03/05 1 1 8 3 2 1 8 1 1 1 1 1 2 2020/03/05 31 361 - 6 60 7,476 [291]
2020/03/06 7 1, 1 3 6 6 3 1 1 5 1, 2 1 13 4 2 2020/03/06 57 418 - 6 67 8,029 [292][293]
2020/03/07 8 1 5 5 1 1 1[i 9] 7 1 10 2 1 1 2020/03/07 44 462 - 6 80 8,176 [294]
2020/03/08 3 1 11[i 10] 14 2 2 2020/03/08 33 495 1 7 101 8,286 [295]
2020/03/09 7 1 2 6 1 3 4 4 2020/03/09 28 523 2 9 102 9,600 [296]
2020/03/10 3 1 3 2 5 3 1 13 1 1 18 8 2020/03/10 59 582 3 12 118 10,024 [297]
2020/03/11 7 2 6 3 2 5 5 1 2 7 13 2020/03/11 53 635 3 15 123 10,205 [298]
2020/03/12 10 2 2 3 6 2 3 1 7 2 9 9 2020/03/12 56 691 4 19 135 12,060 [299]
2020/03/13 9 2 3 1 2 3 3 10 1 2[i 11] 2020/03/13 36 727 2 21 144 12,919 [300]
2020/03/14 7 1 2 9 7 2 2 1 7 1[i 12] 10 11 1 1[i 13] 2020/03/14 62 789 1 22 157 13,026 [301]
2020/03/15 4 3 6 1 1 4 11 2[i 14] 2020/03/15 32 821 2 24 164 13,068 [302]
2020/03/16 4 1 1 2 1 2 4 2020/03/16 15 836 4 28 171 15,151 [303]
2020/03/17 1 12 1 4 4 4 2 1 2 4 4 1 1 2 2[i 15] 2020/03/17 46 882 2 29 191 15,354 [304]
2020/03/18 2 1 2 2 9 4 1 5 1 1 2 5 5 2020/03/18 41 923 2 31 214 14,901[i 16] [305]
2020/03/19 3 6 7 5 4 4 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2020/03/19 38 961 2 33 227 18,844 [306]
2020/03/20 1 1 11 1 3 1 4 5 1 1 1 4 9 1 5 4[i 17] 2020/03/20 53 1014 2 35 232 18,963 [307]
2020/03/21 1 1 2 7 3 3 2 2 1 2 6 1 5 5[i 18] 2020/03/21 41 1055 1 36 272 20,228 [308]
2020/03/22 3 1 3 2 5 6 2 2 1 1 6 4 1 1 8 1[i 19] 2020/03/22 46 1101 5 41 285 20,340 [309]
2020/03/23 2 1 1 16 1 1 2 3 1 1 3 2 1 1 1 1[i 20] 2020/03/23 38 1139 1 42 301 24,430 [310]
2020/03/24 1 2 5 5 17 6 7 2 1 1 2 3 3 2 8 5 1 3 1 2020/03/24 75 1214 1 43 310 23,521 [311]
2020/03/25 4 4 4 4 41 4 1 1 1 6 2 1 4 7 1 1 2 1 1 5[i 21] 2020/03/25 95 1309 2 45 359 25,171 [312]
2020/03/26 1 1 1 6 47 6 7 3 3 3 1 3 7 1 1 1 3 1 1 2020/03/26 97 1406 1 46 372 27,005 [313]
2020/03/27 1 2 3 5 40 11 6 1 1 3 3 2 1 20 3 1 1 1 2 4 2 8[i 22] 2020/03/27 121 1527 2 48 404 28,464 [314]
2020/03/28 3 1 3 62 63 12 6 4 1 1 4 1 3 2 2 5 15 3 1 6 1 2 2020/03/28 201 1728 3 51 424 28,760 [315]
2020/03/29 4 2 1 33 68 9 5 2 3 1 1 7 17 7 2 1 1 4 1 2020/03/29 169 1897 6 57 424 28,966 [316]
2020/03/30 1 1 1 2 4 13 3 1 1 1 4 3 2 2 2 2 1 9 8 4 1 1 2 1 3 2 1 20[i 23] 2020/03/30 96 1993 2 59 424 32,497 [317]
2020/03/31 1 1 1 2 2 4 13 78 14 15 1 1 1 3 8 2 5 4 1 13 28 11 2 5 1 17 1 5[i 24] 2020/03/31 240 2233 7 66 472 34,508 [318]
Date
Hokkaidō
Aomori
Akita
Iwate
Miyagi
Yamagata
Fukushima
Tochigi
Ibaraki
Chiba
Tōkyō
Kanagawa
Saitama
Gunma
Niigata
Toyama
Nagano
Yamanashi
Shizuoka
Aichi
Ishikawa
Fukui
Gifu
Mie
Shiga
Wakayama
Nara
Kyōto
Ōsaka
Hyōgo
Okayama
Tottori
Shimane
Hiroshima
Yamaguchi
Kagawa
Tokushima
Kōchi
Ehime
Ōita
Fukuoka
Saga
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Miyazaki
Kagoshima
Okinawa
Airport
Repatriated
Abroad
Date N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2020/04/01 5 1 4 1 2 3 18 14 66 19 4 1 1 3 1 3 2 5 2 1 5 1 4 7 34 14 1 3 32 1 3 1 1 4[i 25] 2020/04/01 267 2500 3 69 505 34,510 [319][320]
2020/04/02 3 1 2 1 1 2 2 5 97 25 14 1 3 1 7[i 26] 1 9 5 1 1 2 4 12 33 7 2 5 0 1 3 1 22 0 4 1 1 2020/04/02 280 2780 4 73 514 39,446 [321]
2020/04/03 5 2 1 6 5 1 10 20 89 31 17 4 3 1 2 2 12 8 12 4 1 6 1 2 18 35 6 2 2 1 2 7 1 19 2 1 3 4 2 4 2020/04/03 354 3134 4 77 575 42,882 [322][323]
2020/04/04 3 1 2 2 5 5 25 117 20 25 1 2 1 1 1 19 8 4 7 3 3 10 41 15 1 2 1 3 1 1 27 1 2 1 5 2020/04/04 366 3500 7 84 584 44,639 [324][325]
2020/04/05 1 3 3 2 5 25 143 27 25 1 2 7 11 7 11 1 2 1 9 21 13 1 4 7 1 16 2 1 1 2 5 2020/04/05 360 3860 9 93 592 46,172 [326][327]
2020/04/06 3 6 7 18 83 6 14 1 2 5 2 11 2 6 1 1 5 1 8 20 6 1 1 3 2 1 14 1 1 6 4 2020/04/06 242 4102 4 97 622 55,311 [328][329]
2020/04/07 4 1 6 8 3 6 13 80 18 17 3 2 2 3 3 21 10 6 10 5 2 2 12 53 20 1 3 3 2 2 23 3 2 1 12 2020/04/07 362 4464 1 98 632 61,498 [330][331]
2020/04/08 10 2 3 5 6 0 33 144 67 34 2 1 5 3 9 20 11 7 8 2 3 2 10 43 19 2 5 1 1 1 2 6 25 1 4 1 5 12 2020/04/08 515 4979 7 105 685 64,387 [332]
2020/04/09 18 2 2 5 4 5 5 30 181 26 35 4 2 7 2 2 2 21 7 5 9 2 7 3 4 10 92 39 1 1 1 10 1 26 1 1 3 2020/04/09 576 5555 3 108 714 68,771 [333][334]
2020/04/10 13 3 2 2 5 3 1 9 33 189 56 53 11 2 7 3 4 14 19 5 11 1 3 9 80 29 1 5 1 1 5 2 1 39 1 1 7 2 2020/04/10 634 6189 13 121 762 74,891 [335][336]
2020/04/11 16 5 2 7 1 1 3 12 36 197 76 37 35 1 7 3 2 10[i 27] 12 4 9 2 4 2 7 70 42 4 26 1 2 43 1 1 1 8 29 2020/04/11 719 6908 10 132 784 77,381 [337][338]
2020/04/12 12 6 5 1 6 44 166 31 40 11 14 1 2 2 2 9 2 6 1 2 12 45 17 1 6 4 4 6 30 2 9 2020/04/12 499 7407 6 137 799 78,702 [339]
2020/04/13 5 3 1 1 1 19 91 15 15 5 7 1 5 9 8 4 7 2 3 12 24 9 1 3 1 11 7 1 11 1 7 4 2020/04/13 294 7701 5 142 853 89,551 [340][341]
2020/04/14 18 1 10 4 1 1 6 16 161 20 22 6 3 6 1 1 1 10 10 8 2 11 1 3 5 59 19 1 2 25 1 1 2 2 33 2 3 4 2020/04/14 482 8183 19 161 901 94,236 [342][343]
2020/04/15 23 1 6 1 3 3 35 127 40 61 10 1 6 2 3 1 11[i 26] 9 8 3 1 1 2 6 5 74 20 3 23 3 2 1 5 30 1 2 10 4 2020/04/15 548 8731 17 178 935 100,703 [344][345]
2020/04/16 23 13 5 9 2 4 58 149 56 51 6 1 7 6 3 1 14 6 3 5 6 5 1 1 10 52 31 1 1 5 1 2 1 4 26 1 8 2020/04/16 578 9309 12 191 1012 106,372 [346][347]
2020/04/17 33 1 4 3 2 8 35 201 33 27 2 6 11 2 3 1 10 14 1 1 6 11 1 2 10 55 27 1 1 6 1 2 1 17 1 1 2 2 7 1 2020/04/17 553 9862 16 207 1069 111,531 [348][349]
2020/04/18 38 4 2 8 4 34 181 44 36 6 3 12 2 15 13 2 1 3 2 1 3 7 88 21 2 6 1 1 3 24 2 1 9 1 2020/04/18 580 10442 17 224 1159 112,816 [350][351]
2020/04/19 27 1 2 2 4 18 107 30 37 2 4 5 1 2 10[i 28] 5 6 2 1 1 2 9 48 11 1 1 2 1 4 1 16 1 3 1 5 1 2020/04/19 376 10818 14 238 1239 116,725 [352][353]
2020/04/20 17 1 3 2 3 4 22 102 17 12 2 19 5 3 1 3 1 2 8 84 11 5 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 6 2 2020/04/20 345 11163 25 263 1356 124,550 [354][355]
2020/04/21 22 2 3 21 123 13 10 7 2 13 2 1 1 16 12 5 5 2 4 2 8 5 54 19 2 1 2 1 5 21 1 4 1 2020/04/21 390 11553 20 283 2040 135,983 [356][357]
2020/04/22 22 1 1 1 5 21 132 25 40 3 3 14 5 1 4 19 6 1 3 2 12 2 1 11 31 17 3 1 21 2 33 1 5 2 2020/04/22 451 12004 16 299 2408 135,983 [358][359]
2020/04/23 45 2 24 134 39 33 4 1 9 3 1 12 17 2 4 1 1 7 35 20 2 1 12 9 14 1 2 1 2020/04/23 436 12440 29 328 2536 141,600 [360][361]
2020/04/24 22 1 1 4 19 161 32 18 2 3 13 3 1 14 6 1 2 1 2 4 31 25 2 12 8 43 1 1 2020/04/24 433 12872 17 345 2662 147,454 [362][363]
2020/04/25 39 1 2 3 10 103 31 22 1 12 1 1 3 1 4 1 5 4 29 15 1 2 1 14 1 57 1 3 2020/04/25 368 13240 15 360 2815 149,074 [364][365]
2020/04/26 14 1 2 1 8 72 16 19 1 4 3 1 1 9 1 1 4 16 9 1 5 2 1 11 1 3 2 2020/04/26 209 13449 12 372 [366]
Cases 615 22 16 0 85 66 69 54 161 810 3917 954 818 141 70 178 66 52 63 477 235 121 149 45 93 58 73 294 1491 629 22 3 22 148 31 28 5 73 47 60 612 37 165 46 17 10 137 139 9 15 1 Cases 13449 N/A 372 N/A N/A
Deaths[367] 45 9 36 155 42 39 16 13 1 34 16 8 6 1 1 2 2 13 53 28 2 1 3 3 1 24 1 2 5 Deaths N/A N/A N/A N/A
Date
Hokkaidō
Aomori
Akita
Iwate
Miyagi
Yamagata
Fukushima
Tochigi
Ibaraki
Chiba
Tōkyō
Kanagawa
Saitama
Gunma
Niigata
Toyama
Nagano
Yamanashi
Shizuoka
Aichi
Ishikawa
Fukui
Gifu
Mie
Shiga
Wakayama
Nara
Kyōto
Ōsaka
Hyōgo
Okayama
Tottori
Shimane
Hiroshima
Yamaguchi
Kagawa
Tokushima
Kōchi
Ehime
Ōita
Fukuoka
Saga
Nagasaki
Kumamoto
Miyazaki
Kagoshima
Okinawa
Airport
Repatriated
Abroad
Date new cml new cml Total
disch.
[i 3]
Total
tested
[i 3]
Sources
Tōhoku Kantō Chūbu Kinki (Kansai) Chūgoku Shikoku Kyūshū Other Cases Deaths
Honshū
Sources [368] [369] [370] [371] [372] [373] [374] [375] [376] [377] [378] [379] [380] [381] [382] [383] [384] [385] [386] [387] [388] [389] [390] [391] [392] [393] [394] [395] [396] [397] [398] [399] [400] [401] [402] [403] [404] [405] [406] [407] [408] [409] [410] [411] [412] [413] Sources
  • Notes:

^ A single number enclosed in parenthesis indicates cases with China travel history.

^ Underlining indicates cases previously passengers of Diamond Princess.

  • Case information:
  1. ^ Excludes cases detected on the Diamond Princess.
  2. ^ Cases detected on the cruise ship Costa Atlantica are counted in "Others" section below.
  3. ^ a b c d As of 12:00 JST on the day.
  4. ^ Diagnosis made with a sample of the patient when the patient had already left Japan.
  5. ^ Medical examiner of the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
  6. ^ Employee of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, working on the cruise ship.
  7. ^ Employees of the MHLW and Cabinet Secretariat working on the cruise ship.
  8. ^ The patient tested positive at Chūbu Centrair International Airport after travelling from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Cambodia.
  9. ^ The first patient in Japan to have tested positive via spinal cord fluid and the first in Japan to have acquired meningitis via SARS-CoV-2.[Ref]
  10. ^ One patient in his 80s, from Nagoya, died in the early morning of 03/07, testing positive later on 7 Mar. Case published on 8 Mar. No particular symptoms were present by the late evening of 6 Mar.
  11. ^ One tested positive at Haneda Airport after returning from Italy, having been in Lombardy in the past 14 days; the first imported cases from Italy in Japan. The other returned from a conference in France as a member of the SDF.
  12. ^ Re-tested positive with symptoms after previously testing negative and discharged on 2 March.
  13. ^ The patient tested positive at Narita International Airport after travelling from Italy (regions of Lombardy and Veneto).
  14. ^ Tested positive at Haneda Airport. Both have been in Northern Italy, with one also been in Paris.
  15. ^ Travel history of Italy.[Ref]
  16. ^ Decrease from previous count due to Chiba prefecture previously reporting number of tests performed, not number of persons tested.
  17. ^ 1 had been in Italy (incl. Lombardy), and 3 in Spain and Italy.[Ref]
  18. ^ 1 from Italy, 1 from France, 3 from Spain.[Ref]
  19. ^ Travel history of UK (London).[Ref]
  20. ^ Travel history of Italy (Lombardy).[Ref]
  21. ^ 1 Switzerland; 1 Thailand (Bangkok); 2 Ethiopia; 1 Europe.[Ref]
  22. ^ 1 Spain and UK; 1 Switzerland; 1 US; 4 UK; 1 Spain, UK, and Ireland.[Ref]
  23. ^ 5 Europe, 4 France, 3 Germany, 3 Ireland, 1 Italy, 2 Spain, 2 South America.[Ref]
  24. ^ 3 France, 1 Germany, 1 Netherlands.[Ref]
  25. ^ 3 Europe, 1 Germany.[Ref]
  26. ^ a b One re-infection.
  27. ^ 24 positive cases on 04/11 in Aichi were confirmed to be in fact negative, perhaps due to sample contamination.[Ref] They have been excluded from this table.
  28. ^ Two re-infections
By age

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Japan and age ()

Classification Cases Deaths Lethality
(%)
Number (%) Number (%)
Age Above 80 982 (7.7) 125 (50.6) (12.7)
70–79 1,194 (9.4) 70 (28.3) (5.9)
60–69 1,517 (11.9) 29 (11.7) (1.9)
50–59 2,223 (17.5) 12 (4.9) (0.5)
40–49 2,118 (16.7) 5 (2.0) (0.2)
30–39 1,908 (15.0) 2 (0.8) (0.1)
20–29 2,086 (16.4) 2 (0.0) (0.0)
10–19 293 (2.3) 0 (0.0) (0.0)
0–9 204 (1.6) 0 (0.0) (0.0)
n/d 196 (1.5) 4 (1.6) (2.0)
All 12,721 (100.0) 247 (100.0) (1.9)
Source: Toyo Keizai media as of 2020/04/24, 18:00.[414]

Positive case and testing data for SARS-CoV-2 infection in Japan by prefecture,
2020/01/15 – 04/25[i 1] ()

National Positive
Count
Persons
Tested
Positive
Rate
Island Region Pref.
 Hokkaido 601 5,362 11.2%
Honshū Tōhoku  Aomori Prefecture 22 526 4.2%
 Iwate Prefecture 0 288 0.0%
 Miyagi Prefecture 85 1,568 5.4%
 Akita Prefecture 16 786 2.0%
 Yamagata Prefecture 66 1,947 3.4%
 Fukushima Prefecture 68 1,491 4.6%
Kantō  Tochigi Prefecture 54 4,031 3.9%
 Ibaraki Prefecture 161 1,673 3.1%
 Gunma Prefecture 140 2,440 5.7%
 Saitama Prefecture 786 6,110 12.9%
 Chiba Prefecture[415] 778
 Chiba Prefecture[416] 733 5,028 14.6%
 Tokyo 3,850 9,827 39.2%
 Kanagawa Prefecture[417] 943
 Kanagawa Prefecture[418] 873 5,075 17.2%
Chūbu  Niigata Prefecture 65 2,491 2.6%
 Toyama Prefecture 175 1,885 9.3%
 Ishikawa Prefecture 224 1,424 15.7%
 Fukui Prefecture 120 1,313 9.1%
 Yamanashi Prefecture 51 1,922 2.7%
 Nagano Prefecture 66 1,552 4.3%
 Gifu Prefecture 146 2,272 6.4%
 Shizuoka Prefecture 62 2,366 2.6%
 Aichi Prefecture 475 6,488 7.3%
Kinki (Kansai)  Mie Prefecture 45 1,653 2.7%
 Shiga Prefecture 94 1,141 8.2%
 Kyoto Prefecture 290 3,614 8.0%
 Osaka Prefecture[419] 1,477
 Osaka Prefecture[420] 1,352 6,900 19.6%
 Hyōgo Prefecture 619 6,641 9.3%
 Nara Prefecture 76 1,173 6.5%
 Wakayama Prefecture 57 2,528 2.3%
Chūgoku  Tottori Prefecture 3 943 0.3%
 Shimane Prefecture 16 750 2.1%
 Okayama Prefecture 21 1,041 2.0%
 Hiroshima Prefecture 143 4,245 3.4%
 Yamaguchi Prefecture 31 1,233 2.5%
Shikoku  Tokushima Prefecture 5 386 1.3%
 Kagawa Prefecture 28 1,427 2.0%
 Ehime Prefecture 47 1,002 4.7%
 Kōchi Prefecture 72 1,302 5.5%
Kyushu  Fukuoka Prefecture 595 7,983 7.5%
 Saga Prefecture 36 711 5.1%
 Nagasaki Prefecture 16 1,728 0.9%
 Kumamoto Prefecture 43 2,623 1.6%
 Ōita Prefecture 60 2,910 2.1%
 Miyazaki Prefecture 17 1,010 1.7%
 Kagoshima Prefecture 10 1,109 0.9%
 Okinawa Prefecture 133 1,715 7.8%
Others[421] 148
Total 13,031
12,791 123,633 10.3%


Number of cases and deaths[edit]

Number of cases (blue) and number of deaths (red) on a logarithmic scale. As of 1 May, cases double every 20 days.

No. of total confirmed cases

No. of new cases per day

No. of deaths in total

No of deaths per day

No. of sick people

No. of active results

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Kuril Islands are administered by Russia, six cases have been reported in the Sakhalin Oblast overall.
  1. ^ Excludes cases detected on the Diamond Princess.

References[edit]

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