Japan Data

Coronavirus Cases in Japan by Prefecture

Society

Tokyo reports 107 new cases on July 2, with the daily total rising above 100 for the first time since May 2.

Cases in Japan: 18,874 Infections, 975 Deaths (as of 12:00 on July 2, 2020)

Infected in Japan 18,545
Returnees from China on government charter flights 15
Cases confirmed in airport screening 314
Total 18,874
Deaths 975
Recoveries 16,772

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Cases Reported by Local Governments: 18,604 Infections, 974 Deaths (as of July 2, 2020)

Prefecture Infections Deaths
Hokkaidō 1,275 101
Aomori 27 1
Iwate 0
Miyagi 94 1
Akita 16  
Yamagata 69  
Fukushima 82  
Ibaraki 176 10
Tochigi 83  
Gunma 153 19
Saitama 1,165 65
Chiba 982 45
Tokyo 6,399 325
Kanagawa 1,521 96
Niigata 83  
Toyama 227 22
Ishikawa 300 27
Fukui 122 8
Yamanashi 75 1
Nagano 77  
Gifu 160 7
Shizuoka 81 1
Aichi 528 34
Mie 46 1
Shiga 103 1
Kyoto 386 18
Osaka 1,851 86
Hyōgo 709 43
Nara 87 2
Wakayama 64 3
Tottori 4  
Shimane 24  
Okayama 28  
Hiroshima 169 3
Yamaguchi 37  
Tokushima 6  1
Kagawa 28  
Ehime 82 5
Kōchi 74 3
Fukuoka 858 33
Saga 47  
Nagasaki 17 1
Kumamoto 49 3
Ōita 60 1
Miyazaki 17  
Kagoshima 21  
Okinawa 142 7

Created by Nippon.com based on data from local governments. Prefectures are listed in the standard Japanese geographical order, from north to south. In some cases, local standards vary from those of the MHLW, so the total may not match the MHLW statistics.

Cruise Ship Passenger Fatalities: 13

Click here for information on infections by country and news updates.

July 2

Tokyo reports 107 new cases, with the daily total rising above 100 for the first time since May 2. The number of daily cases decreased steadily through May, but started rising again in mid-June. Governor Koike Yuriko calls for vigilance and for people to avoid nightlife districts. In Kagoshima Prefecture, there were nine new cases, including eight staff members at an establishment offering settai services. There were also new cases in prefectures like Tottori and Okayama, which had seen relatively low figures to date.

July 1

Tokyo reports 67 new cases, its highest daily total since the state of emergency was lifted. The average daily total over the past 7-day period rises to 56.9. Osaka reports 10 new cases, reaching double figures for the first time since May 13.

Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea reopen after being closed for four months. There is a limit on the number of visitors, who must book tickets in advance for a specific day. There are also temperature checks at the entrance and visitors are asked to wear masks. Parades and shows are canceled, and visitors may not shake hands or do high fives with characters.

June 30

Tokyo reports 54 new cases, with the daily total rising above 50 for the fifrth successive day. The average daily total over the past 7-day period rises to 55.1. Yokohama reports 28 new cases, of which 26 are host club employees. A total of 138 cases are reported nationwide.

June 29

Tokyo reports 58 new cases, with the daily total rising above 50 for the fourth successive day. The average daily total over the past 7-day period rises to 51.9, going over 50, which is one of the benchmarks for renewed business suspension requests. Hokkaidō reports 11 new cases, including 3 in Otaru and 7 in Sapporo.

June 28

Tokyo reports 60 new cases, its highest daily total since the state of emergency was lifted. The average daily total over the past 7-day period rises to 47.7, approaching 50, which is one of the benchmarks for renewed business suspension requests. In Otaru, Hokkaidō, 14 new cases are reported connected to an establishment offering daytime karaoke.

June 26

Japan reports 105 new cases, topping 100 for the first time since May 9. Around 80% are in the Tokyo metropolitan area, with 54 in Tokyo, 7 in Kanagawa, 16 in Saitama, and 4 in Chiba. In Tokyo, the average daily total over the past week rises to 41.6. Governor Koike  attributes the increase to group testing efforts, saying that expert analysis does not see this as a second wave.

June 25

Tokyo reports 48 news cases. The average daily total over the past week rises to 38.9.

June 24

Tokyo reports 55 new cases, with the daily total rising above 50 for the first time since there were 57 new cases on May 5. The average daily total over the past week rises to 37.9. There are 9 new cases in Otaru, Hokkaidō, which are all connected to an establishment offering daytime karaoke.

June 19

The Japanese professional baseball season begins after a three-month delay, with games played behind closed doors. The shortened season will have 120 instead of 143 games.

Tokyo reports 35 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,709. The average daily total over the past week rises to 34.

The government lifts its requests for voluntary restrictions on crossing prefectural borders. From today, it also allows concerts and other events with up to 1,000 people to take place. Provided they take measures against infection, establishments offering flirtatious settai services and live music venues can also reopen. These changes are part of a government plan to gradually reopen the economy from May 25, when the state of emergency ended, to July 31 through a series of three-week stages.

June 18

Tokyo reports 41 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,674. The average daily total over the past week rises to 32.6. New cases are reported for the first time in more than a month in Miyagi (51 days), Fukushima (41 days), Niigata, and Shiga Prefectures. There is concern that the imminent lifting of requests to refrain from crossing prefectural borders could cause more infections in regional Japan.

June 17

Tokyo reports 16 new cases, with the daily total dropping below 20 for the first time in a week. The average daily total over the past week falls slightly to 29.9.

June 16

Tokyo reports 27 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,619. The average daily total over the past week is now 30.1, which is considerably higher than the threshold of 20 that was one of the criteria for announcing the alert on June 2.

June 15

Tokyo reports 48 cases, rising above 40 for the second consecutive day, bringing its overall total to 5,592. Of these, 20 are identified in group testing of Shinjuku nightlife establishments.

June 14

Tokyo records 47 new cases, with the daily total rising above 40 for the first time since there were 57 new cases on May 5. Of these, 32 are related to adult nightlife establishments, including 18 in a cluster connected to employees at a reopened host club in Kabukichō, Shinjuku. The metropolis now has a total of 5,544 cases. Minister for Economic Revitalization Nishimura Yasutoshi says that the 18 people related to the host club were asymptomatic, attributing the number of cases identified to positive efforts to detect carriers and prevent a second wave of infections.

June 11

Tokyo lifts its ongoing alert and will allow pachinko parlors, amusement arcades, and other entertainment facilities to reopen. On the same day it reports 22 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,448. It is the first time it has reported more than 20 cases since June 6. 

June 7

Tokyo reports 14 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,369. The average daily total over the past week rises over 20 for the first time since the end of the state of emergency on May 25, reaching 21.

June 4

Tokyo reports 28 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,323. The average daily total over the past week rises to 18.3.

June 3

Tokyo reports 12 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,295. The average daily total over the past week rises slightly to 16.4.

June 2

Tokyo reports 34 new cases, the first time its daily total has been above 30 since May 14. This brings its overall total to 5,283. The average daily total over the past week is now 16.3. Governor Koike issues a Tokyo Alert, calling for vigilance from residents.

The warning is based on a number of benchmarks prepared by the metropolis for deciding on relaxation of business suspension requests.

June 1

Tokyo reports 13 new cases, bringing its total to 5,249. Kitakyūshū in Fukuoka Prefecture reports 16 new cases, lifting its total to 113 over the past 10 days.

April and May

May 31

Tokyo reports 5 new cases, dropping below 10 for the first time since May 26. Kitakyūshū in Fukuoka Prefecture reports 12 new cases, lifting its total to 97 over the past nine days.

May 30

Tokyo reports 14 new cases, meaning it now has 0.67 total cases per 100,000 people over the past week, rising above the 0.5 target previously set by the government for lifting the state of emergency.

May 29

Kitakyūshū in Fukuoka Prefecture reports 26 new cases. Mayor Kitahashi Kenji says the city is in the middle of a second wave.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko says that the metropolis will move to the second of its three-stage roadmap for reopening the economy on June 1. Business suspension requests will be relaxed for cram schools, movie theaters, commercial facilities, and sports gyms, on the understanding that they will take thorough measures to prevent infection. At a press conference, Koike stresses that it will be a long fight to contain the coronavirus.

Tokyo reports 22 new cases, the first time the total has risen above 20 since May 14. It has reported new cases in double figures for the past four days.

May 28

Kitakyūshū in Fukuoka Prefecture has now reported 43 new cases over the previous six days. Fukuoka has 0.88 total cases per 100,000 people over the past week, rising above the 0.5 target previously set by the government for lifting the state of emergency. Hokkaidō, which did not meet this target at the time its state of emergency was lifted, has seen its figure rise further to 1.03.

May 27

The city of Kitakyūshū in Fukuoka Prefecture warns of a second wave of infections after reporting a total of 22 new cases over the previous five days. It closes some public and tourist facilities until June 18, having removed restrictions after the state of emergency was lifted.

May 25

The government lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency in the five remaining prefectures of Hokkaidō, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Chiba. It is one and a half months since the initial state of emergency was declared on April 7. There is no immediate return to everyday life, though, as restrictions will be eased in stages.

In the five prefectures where the state of emergency is lifted, Tokyo reports 8 new cases, Hokkaidō 2, and Kanagawa and Saitama 1 each.

May 23

Tokyo reports 2 new cases, bringing its total to 5,138. In the other prefectures still under a state of emergency, Kanagawa reports 5 cases, Saitama 1, Chiba 0, and Hokkaidō 9. Minister for Economic Revitalization Nishimura says at a press conference that a positive trend is continuing.

May 22

Tokyo reports 3 new cases, bringing its total to 5,136. It is the lowest daily total since the state of emergency began on April 7.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government releases a three-stage roadmap toward the reopening of businesses. In the first stage, it will allow libraries and museums to reopen and restaurants and bars to stay open two hours later, until 10:00 at night. If the government lifts the state of emergency on May 25, the first stage would come into effect the following day. In the second stage, shopping malls, theaters, movie theaters, and cram schools will be allowed to reopen, while the third stage will let amusement parks and pachinko parlors reopen and permit restaurants and bars to operate until midnight.

May 21

The government lifts the state of emergency in Osaka, Kyoto, and Hyōgo Prefectures. It will make a further decision on May 25 about lifting it in the remaining prefectures of Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Hokkaidō. With 59 cases over the past seven days, Tokyo has achieved the target of 70 or below for the first time.

Tokyo announces that 58 cases were unreported, 6 were reported twice, and 5 negative cases were wrongly reported as positive. This adds 47 to its cumulative total. With the 11 new cases for the day, Tokyo’s overall figure rises to 5,133.

May 20

The Japan High School Baseball Federation announces the cancellation of the summer high school baseball tournament for the first time in the postwar era.

Tokyo reports 5 new cases, bringing its overall total to 5,075. It has had 78 new cases over the past week.

May 19

Tokyo reports 5 new cases, equaling its lowest daily total since the announcement of the state of emergency and marking two weeks in which there have been fewer than 50 new daily cases in the metropolis. However, to meet the government target for lifting the state of emergency of 0.5 or fewer total cases per 100,000 people over the past week, Tokyo—with a population of 14 million—still needs to reduce its cases to 70 in one week.

Osaka Prefecture reports 3 new cases, while there are zero in neighboring Kyoto and Hyōgo. These three Kansai prefectures are meeting the government target ahead of a decision to be made on May 21 about lifting the state of emergency in the remaining eight prefectures.

May 15

Apparel maker Renown announces that it has gone bankrupt with debts of ¥13.8 billion. Temporary closures of department stores and shopping malls brought a slump in sales. It is the first listed company in Japan to go bankrupt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tokyo reports 9 new cases, bringing its total to 5,036. This is the tenth successive day that there have been fewer than 50 cases and the first time since March 22 that the total has been less than 10.

May 14

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō orders the government to compile a second fiscal 2020 supplementary budget. The first ¥25.7 trillion supplementary budget enacted on April 30 included ¥100,000 payments to all residents and payments of up to ¥2 million for small and medium-sized businesses that suffered major drops in sales. Among its provisions, the second budget will almost double the daily maximum subsidy for companies to retain employees while their business is suspended to ¥15,000.

Prime Minister Abe lifts the state of emergency in 39  prefectures. They include Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Gifu, Aichi, and Fukuoka, which had been among 13 prefectures designated for stepped-up measures. The state of emergency will continue in Hokkaidō, Chiba, Saitama, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hyōgo, with a decision to be made later on a possible early end on May 21. 

May 13

The Japan Sumō Association announces that 28-year-old rikishi Shōbushi has died of multiple organ failure due to pneumonia caused by COVID-19. He was hospitalized on April 8 and tested positive for the virus at another hospital on April 12. This is the first fatality reported in Japan for someone under 30.

May 12

Toyota announces that it expects its operating profit to fall by 79.5% year on year to ¥500 billion in the fiscal year ending March 2021. The pandemic has brought major economic disruption around the world and production and sales are projected to plummet. The company projects it will sell 8.9 million vehicles, which would be the first drop below 10 million units in eight years.

Tokyo reports 28 new cases, meaning that it has now had a week with fewer than 50 new cases reported each day.

May 11

Tokyo Governor Koike says that the metropolitan government has found 111 unreported cases and 35 that were reported twice. It will later add 76 cases to its total.

Tokyo reports 15 new cases. This is the first time the daily figure has dropped below 20 since March 30.

May 10

Minister for Economic Revitalization Nishimura says that the state of emergency may be lifted in the 34 prefectures that have not been designated for stepped-up measures, as well as Ibaraki and Gifu.

May 9

Tokyo reports 39 new cases, meaning that the daily number of new cases has been below 100 for a week. Reduced testing during national holidays played a part in the earlier part of this period, but the lower numbers have continued even after the end of the holidays. A man in his eighties dies in Miyagi Prefecture, marking the first fatality in Tōhoku. The area has had relatively fewer cases than the rest of the country, and includes Iwate, the only prefecture to have reported zero cases.

A case reported on Mikurajima is the first on any of a number of Japan’s outlying islands that are administered by the prefecture of Tokyo. Mikurajima is 200 kilometers south of the capital.

May 8

Tokyo reports 39 new cases, marking the sixth consecutive day that the number of cases has been below 100. While the closure of some medical institutions during much of this period has played a part, business closures and efforts to reduce trips outside seem to be starting to show their effects.

May 7

There are 96 new nationwide cases (including those in airport screening), as the figure drops below 100 for the first time in over a month. The 23 new cases in Tokyo amount to the capital’s lowest daily total since the declaration of a state of emergency. However, these figures are influenced by coming after a national holiday when some medical institutions were not open.

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare approves the antivirus drug remdesivir, using fast-track screening procedures. The drug was developed by US company Gilead Sciences for treatment of Ebola, but has shown some effectiveness in treating COVID-19. It is due to go into use from this month.

May 4

Tokyo reports 87 new cases, bringing its total to 4,654. Hokkaidō reports 31 new cases for the day, with 29 of them in Sapporo, registering a new daily high for the prefectural capital. The government decides to extend to May 31 the nationwide state of emergency that had been due to expire on May 6.

May 2

Tokyo reports 160 new cases, reaching a total of 4,477. The number of nationwide fatalities (excluding cruise ship passengers) reaches 500,  and Tokyo is the prefecture with the most deaths at 141, followed by Osaka with 46, Hokkaidō with 40, and Kanagawa with 38. Tokyo’s highest daily total of 15 deaths came on May 1.

May 1

Tokyo reports another 165 cases, bringing its total to 4,317. This follows two days in which there were fewer than 50 new cases. Prime Minister Abe states plans to extend the nationwide state of emergency for around a month, with the announcement to be made by May 6.

April 30

The supplementary budget including ¥100,000 payments to all residents is enacted in the Diet. It amounts to ¥25.7 trillion, of which ¥12.9 trillion is earmarked for the payments. This brings Japanese government bond issuance to a record ¥58.2 trillion in fiscal 2020, lifting the bond dependency ratio to 45.5%.

April 29

Prime Minister Abe suggests the state of emergency will be extended beyond May 6, saying that as the number of infections continue to rise, it is difficult to say that the outbreak is over. He later says that he is considering a proposal to shift the start of the school year from April to September, as one among many options.

April 28

Tokyo reports 112 new cases, bringing its overall total to 4,059.

April 27

Tokyo reports 39 new cases, bringing its overall total to 3,947. It is the second successive day that fewer than 100 cases have been reported in the metropolis, although Monday’s figures have a tendency to be lower due to reduced numbers of tests on Sunday. Governor Koike Yuriko tells residents on her regular Internet broadcast that it is not a time to relax, and going outside should be kept to a minimum to prevent further spread and strain on medical resources. She says, “What we do today will save the Tokyo two weeks in the future.”

April 26

Tokyo reports 72 new cases, marking the first time the daily figure has been less than 100 since April 13.

The All Japan High School Athletic Federation on Sunday makes the unprecedented decision to cancel this year’s Interscholastic Athletic Meet, scheduled for August.

April 25

Tokyo’s “Stay Home Week to Save Lives,” a rebranding of Golden Week, begins. The period will run through May 6.

April 24

Tokyo reports 161 new cases, bringing its overall total to 3,733. The speed of growth remains high, although it has dropped compared with earlier in the month.

An infection cluster at Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital grows to 41 cases, and it has stopped accepting new patients.

April 23

Tokyo Governor Koike calls the period from April 25 to May 6, including the Golden Week holidays when travel is usually popular, “Stay Home Week to Save Lives,” asking residents to further refrain from leaving the home. As more people are using local supermarkets rather than those at big stations, she also calls for people to go shopping just once every three days to reduce crowding.

Actress Okae Kumiko dies from pneumonia caused by COVID-19. She was 63. On April 6, she was urgently admitted to the hospital and tested positive. It is thought that radiation therapy for breast cancer in January and February may have weakened her immune system.

April 22

After weekends when the Shōnan coast has seen major traffic congestion, including vehicles from other prefectures, Kanagawa Governor Kuroiwa Yūji urges people not to visit at a time when they should be staying indoors. Other coastal areas like Kujūkuri Beach in Chiba Prefecture have faced the same issue, and local governments are alarmed at the prospect of visitors bringing the virus with them during the upcoming Golden Week holidays.

It is announced that a man in Saitama Prefecture who was told to self-quarantine at home due to his mild symptoms died on April 21. Although he was found to be infected on April 16, the rapid rise in cases meant that he was unable to get a hospital bed and had to recuperate at home. He was admitted to the hospital on April 21 after his condition quickly deteriorated the previous day.

April 20

McDonald’s Japan closes dining areas at all its restaurants in 13 prefectures designated by the government for stepped-up measures against COVID-19. The areas will remain closed until May 6.

April 18

Japan’s total COVID-19 cases rise above 10,000. From the first recorded infection on January 15, it took around two months to reach 1,000 cases. However, the pace of infection has shown a clear increase from late March, and over the last 10 days there have been around 1,000 new cases every two days. While the number of cases overall is still relatively low, unless the pace of increase is slowed Japan could face the same situation as seriously affected Western countries in the next few weeks.

April 17

Tokyo reports 201 new cases, bringing its total to 2,794. It is the first time that the metropolis has registered more than 200 new cases in one day.

April 16

The government announces that the state of emergency will be extended from the initial seven heavily urban prefectures to the whole country, due to the increasingly rapid rise in cases and some other prefectures having recorded more than 100 infections. 

Prime Minster Abe Shinzō announces that the government is planning to give ¥100,000 in cash per person as part of economic measures responding to the coronavirus outbreak, which will be included in a revision of the supplementary budget for fiscal 2020. This replaces the plan for payments of ¥300,000 to households suffering serious drops in income.

April 14

The government decides to postpone the ceremonial investiture of Crown Prince Fumihito as first in line to the Japanese throne. It had planned to hold scaled-down ceremonies on April 19, but these will now take place at a later date.

April 13

Tokyo reports 91 new cases, bringing its total to 2,159. Meanwhile, in Kansai, the chief and deputy chief of Kobe Nishi Police Station are found to be infected, among many cases stemming from a party held at the end of March. Around 120 officers are self-isolating at home. Four doctors at the Japanese Red Cross Kobe Hospital also test positive for the coronavirus following a case involving a nurse at the hospital reported on April 11.

April 12

Tokyo reports 166 new cases. Governor Koike says in a YouTube video that it was unclear how infection occurred in 64 cases, but it was believed that 87 cases were due to transmission within medical facilities. Tokyo now has 2,068 cases overall, of which 75% have been reported since the start of April. Other prefectures like Kanagawa and Chiba under a state of emergency are also recording new daily cases in double figures as the national total rises to around 7,000.

April 11

Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital reports 13 cases among patients and staff.

Tokyo reports 197 new cases, setting a record high total for the fourth consecutive day, bringing the overall figure to 1,902.

April 10

Tokyo reports 189 new cases, the highest single-day total to date, bringing the overall number of infections to 1,705. The metropolis is aiming to slow down the spread of COVID-19 by requesting closure of bars and nightclubs, as well as shorter opening hours for izakaya and restaurants.

The first reported case in Tottori means that Iwate is now the only prefecture with zero infections.

April 9

Tokyo reports a record 181 new cases, with the rate of increase rising by almost 40 from April 8. It now has 1,519 cases altogether, of which 998 were reported since the beginning of April.

Aichi Governor Ōmura Hideaki asks that the prefecture be added to the list of areas covered by the state of emergency, due to its high number of cases.

April 8

Tokyo reports 144 new cases, the highest daily total to date for the metropolis. The figure previously topped 100 on April 4 and 5 before falling below it for the next two days. Kanagawa, also under a state of emergency, reported a record 43 new cases.

April 7

Another 80 new cases are reported in Tokyo, bringing its total up to 1,195. Of the overall figure, 56% came in the first week of April. In 57 of the April 7 cases, it was unclear how infection occurred.

At a press conference after he declared a state of emergency, Prime Minister Abe said that if infections continued to grow at the same pace in Tokyo, there would be more than 10,000 cases after two weeks and more than 80,000 after a month. However, by reducing personal contact by 70% or preferably 80%, the number of infections would peak and start to decline after two weeks. He also called for people living in cities not to move to other prefectures, such as the homes of relatives, where there are many seniors who would be at high risk if infections spread in those areas and less robust medical systems to care for them.

Prime Minister Abe declares a state of emergency in the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyōgo, and Fukuoka, which will last until May 6. While there will be no city lockdowns as seen in some countries, he called for cooperation in preventing further spread of infections.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government begins transferring asymptomatic patients and those with mild symptoms to a budget hotel it has leased in Chūō. This frees up hospital beds and medical resources for serious cases.

April 6

Prime Minister Abe announces that he plans to declare a state of emergency on April 7, which will apply to the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyōgo, and Fukuoka. In these heavily urban areas, where rises in infections have led to concerns about strains on the medical system, citizens will be encouraged to cooperate in preventing further spread by avoiding crowds, closed spaces, and conversations in close proximity. Abe says that there will not be the same city lockdowns as seen in some countries, and economic activity will continue as much as possible alongside bolstered containment efforts.

Prime Minister Abe announces a ¥108 trillion economic stimulus package, equivalent to around 20% of Japan's gross domestic product. It will include payments of ¥300,000 to households suffering serious drops in income due to the pandemic and the creation of a system to provide interest-free loans to small businesses through private financial institutions.

April 5

Tokyo records another 143 new cases, topping 100 for the second successive day, as its overall total rises to 1,033. Governor Koike Yuriko appears on an NHK program where she calls for the national government to declare an emergency as soon as possible.

April 4

Tokyo records 117 new cases, as its daily total tops 100 for the first time, to reach an overall figure of 891. Other heavily urban prefectures see continued increases, including 41 in Osaka, 27 in Fukuoka, and 18 in Saitama.

A police officer at the Akasaka Police Station in Tokyo tests positive for the coronavirus, leading to around 70 of her colleagues being put on leave. The Metropolitan Police Department dispatches other officers to perform their duties.

April 3

The total number of infections in Japan rises to some 3,000, with more than 300 new cases in a day for the first time ever. Another 89 cases in Tokyo bring its total to 773, while there have also been continued increases in Kanagawa, Saitama, and Fukuoka Prefectures. 

The government announces that it will provide ¥300,000 each to households where income has dropped due to the pandemic, as part of an economic stimulus package it is aiming to prepare by April 7.

April 2

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare releases a new map showing 26 clusters of infections in 14 prefectures.

Tokyo reports 97 new cases, a record for a single day, of which 21 are connected to a Taitō medical institution. The total for the metropolis is now 684.

April 1

A government panel of experts calls for drastic measures, saying that medical systems in the prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka, and Hyōgo are on the verge of crisis.

Prime Minister Abe says that current circumstances do not require declaration of a state of emergency, while acknowledging that any reduction in vigilance could result in an explosive rise in cases. He says that even if there was a declaration, there would not be the kind of city lockdowns seen in France. The same day he announces that two cloth masks from a stock produced by the government will be distributed to each of Japan’s more than 50 million households.

March and Earlier

March 31

Screenwriter and actor Kudō Kankurō and his agency announce that he has contracted COVID-19.

March 30

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko calls on residents to refrain from attending karaoke outlets, concert venues, bars, and nightclubs to contain the spread of COVID-19. She also asks  people with mild or no symptoms to recuperate at home or in their accommodation to save hospital beds for serious cases.

The MHLW reports that 38 of the cases in Tokyo where it is not clear how infection occurred are thought to be related to late-night and early-morning visits to bars and nightclubs.

Tokyo reports just 13 new cases after a period when there have been 40–60 daily, but the metropolitan government says that it is due to fewer testing of outpatients on a Sunday.

It is reported that popular comedian Shimura Ken died on March 29 at the age of 70. He entered the hospital on March 20 complaining of fatigue and later developed pneumonia.

March 29

Total cases in Tokyo rise to 430 as 68 new cases are reported. Two thirds of the overall total have been reported over the past week. Almost 100 cases are connected to a medical institution in Taitō, but the number of cases where it is not clear how infection occurred is increasing.

March 28

Another 63 new cases are reported in Tokyo, bringing the total for the metropolis to 362, of which 224 occurred over the past six days. About half of the day’s new cases are connected to suspected infection in a medical institution in Taitō.

In Tōnoshō, Chiba Prefecture, 58 infections are reported at a welfare facility for disabled people, including 32 facility workers. 

Prime Minister Abe calls for public cooperation to avoid an explosive increase in infections as seen in Western cities that have gone into lockdown, saying that there is a long fight ahead. He also pledges to compile a budget in 10 days to tackle the economic effects of the crisis.

March 27

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko announces that 40 new infections have been confirmed in the metropolis. This is the third successive day of 40 or more new cases, and the 161 cases in the last five days represent more than half of Tokyo’s total to date.

Hanshin Tigers pitcher Fujinami Shintarō is among three of the team’s players to test positive for the coronavirus.

The Nippon Professional Baseball Organization postpones the start of the baseball season further, setting a new target date of April 24.

March 26

Tokyo has now reported 121 new cases in the last four days.

Local governments in Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, and Yamanashi—the prefectures surrounding Tokyo—call on residents to refrain from going out unnecessarily over the weekend. Tokyo Governor Koike extends her support for this message.

March 25

Tokyo Governor Koike warns of the danger of an explosive rise in infections, calling on residents to work from home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary weekend trips outside. Tokyo has reported 74 new cases over the past three days, including 41 on March 25.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs raises its travel alert worldwide to level 2 for the first time ever, advising residents to refrain from any inessential overseas travel.

Popular comedian Shimura Ken tests positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. His agency reports that the 70-year-old celebrity has been sick for some days and has come down with a mild case of pneumonia. 

March 24

Prime Minister Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agree to postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in a telephone discussion. The games are now set to take place in the summer of 2021.

March 23

Toyota announces a temporary halt at seven production lines in five plants within Japan due to slowing demand amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Tokyo Governor Koike says she may have to impose a lockdown on the metropolis if there is an explosive rise in cases, and asks for the cooperation of residents.

Prime Minister Abe reacts to the previous day’s announcement by the IOC by saying that if it is difficult to hold the events as planned, there would be no choice but to postpone them. It is the first time he has mentioned accepting a postponement.

March 22

The IOC says it will consider postponing the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, and that it will make a decision over the next four weeks. It says there are no plans to cancel the games.

A new infection cluster forms in Ōita Prefecture, where cases have increased to 16 over the last four days. 

March 21

Reports continue to emerge of infections among Japanese returnees from Europe. Five people are found to be infected at Haneda and Narita Airports. They include a  girl whose family did not follow a request to stay at Narita until test results came out, and instead returned home to Okinawa.

March 20

Prime Minister Abe announces plans to lift the request for school closures, and tells the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology to make preparations for reopening. At the same time, he continues to warn against holding large-scale events.

March 19

A government panel of experts warns of the danger of a massive epidemic in Japan, noting that while infections have been contained to some extent, they are still rising in big cities.

Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi calls on the prefecture’s residents to avoid inessential travel over the long weekend from March 20. Hyōgo Governor Ido Toshizō makes a similar appeal.

The government announces the postponement of a planned spring state visit to Britain by Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.

March 18

Hokkaidō Governor Suzuki Naomichi announces that the state of emergency he declared will end on March 19 as scheduled. He states that the prefecture has avoided an explosive rise in cases and that there is a need to a minimize the effect on economic activities, while continuing to ask those with flu-like symptoms or fevers to continue to refrain from going outside.

The government decides to cancel banquets scheduled for April 21 to formally celebrate Crown Prince Fumihito’s rise to first in line to the throne.

March 17

Japan Football Association President Tashima Kōzō announces that he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Tashima is also vice president of the Japanese Olympic Committee.

March 16

At the first ever Group of Seven videoconference meeting, leaders say that “the COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy and a global health crisis, which also poses major risks for the world economy,” and that they will mobilize “the full range of instruments, including monetary and fiscal measures, as well as targeted actions, to support immediately and as much as necessary the workers, companies, and sectors most affected.”

The Bank of Japan decides to double buying of exchange-traded funds to ¥12 trillion as part of easing measures to bolster the economy. It will also cooperate with other major central banks in the United States and Europe.

March 15

The US Federal Reserve slashes interest rates to 0%–0.25%, matching levels seen during the global financial crisis of 2008. 

Amid shortages, new legislation comes into force that bans resale of masks for profit, with potential punishments of up to one year in prison or fines of up to ¥1 million.

March 14

Prime Minister Abe tells a press conference that Japan’s relatively low infection rate means it is not time to declare a state of emergency. He also says that the country will go ahead with preparations for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled.

March 13

Two more confirmed coronavirus fatalities in Aichi Prefecture bring the national total to 21, of which 10 have been in Aichi.

Global economic anxieties rise following US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on European countries, excluding Britain. After the Dow Jones industrial average tumbles 2,352.60 points on March 12, the Nikkei index falls below 17,000 for the first time since November 2016.

March 12

US President Donald Trump suggests that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may be delayed for one year, saying that it would be better than holding events in empty stadiums.

March 11

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declares that the coronavirus outbreak is now a pandemic, and calls on countries to take “urgent and aggressive action” to contain it.

The Japan High School Baseball Federation announces the cancellation of the spring invitational high school baseball tournament.

March 10

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō calls for cancellations of large-scale events for a further 10 days, saying that it continues to be an important time to prevent the rapid spread of infections. He also says Japan will refuse entry to people who have been in five northern provinces of Italy, eight Iranian provinces, and the state of San Marino, due to widespread infections in these locations.

March 9

A government panel says Japan is not experiencing an explosive growth in infections as in 80% of cases those infected have not passed on the coronavirus to others and clusters of cases have been identified relatively quickly. It advises people to avoid crowded, closed spaces with poor ventilation.

The beginning of the Nippon Professional Baseball season is postponed from March 20, with organizers targeting an April start. The Japan Professional Football League will also extend its suspension until April.

The Nikkei index tumbles by more than 1,000 points to 19,698.76, dropping below 20,000 for the first time in 14 months. The dollar falls to the mid-¥101 range and oil prices plunge. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average sinks by more than 2,000 points.

March 8

An Aichi Prefecture man who died on March 7 is found to have been infected with the coronavirus. This brings the total fatalities caused by COVID-19 on Japanese soil to 7. Three more infections in Hokkaidō bring the prefecture’s total over 100.

March 7

The government says it will support small and medium-sized businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak by offering them interest- and collateral-free loans under a special program. It also plans to give financial assistance to caregivers forced to take time off from work to look after children.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which is tracking the coronavirus outbreak, announces that more than 100,000 people have been infected worldwide, of whom more than 57,000 have recovered.

March 6

Osaka Prefecture announces that most of its 31 cases are connected to two live music venues in the city of Osaka. Cases in Nagano and Hyōgo Prefectures are also connected to the venues.

The government cancels this year’s memorial service marking the ninth anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11.

March 5

Prime Minister Abe announces that visitors from China and South Korea will undergo quarantine for two weeks at designated facilities and be asked not to use public transportation. Arrivals from the two countries will be limited to flights to Narita and Haneda Airports. The system will start from March 9, and is presently set to continue until the end of March.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide tells reporters that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s planned spring visit to Japan will be postponed as both countries tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

March 4

IOC President Thomas Bach reiterates the organization’s commitment to holding the Tokyo Olympic Games as planned rather than canceling or postponing the competition.

The Japan High School Baseball Federation announces that the spring invitational high school baseball tournament, scheduled to begin on March 19, is set to be held behind closed doors. A final decision on the event will be made on March 11.

March 3

More cases are identified in the Kansai region among concert-goers at an Osaka venue on February 15 and 16.

March 2

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda Haruhiko says the bank will take steps to stabilize financial markets.

March 1

Under emergency legislation, the government orders mask manufacturers to sell their products to the state. It announces it will supply masks to Hokkaidō municipalities with numerous infections.

The MHLW warns that gyms and buffet restaurants are particular danger spots for infections.

The number of cases in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, rises to 14.

February 29

Prime Minister Abe calls for understanding of his school closure request, stating that it is a crucial period to contain the spread of the outbreak.

The first case is confirmed in Tōhoku, as a returned passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship who had previously tested negative is found to be infected in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Kōchi and Niigata Prefectures also report their first cases.

February 28

Hokkaidō Governor Suzuki Naomichi declares a state of emergency and calls on residents to stay at home over the weekend.

February 27

Prime Minister Abe calls for the closure of all Japanese elementary, junior high, and high schools as a measure to contain the coronavirus.

February 26

Osaka Prefecture announces that a woman in her forties has tested positive for the coronavirus after previously appearing to have recovered from infection.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pakutaso.)

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