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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Japan|
Confirmed cases per million residents by prefecture
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Index case||Kanagawa Prefecture|
|Arrival date||16 January 2020|
(2 months, 2 weeks and 4 days)
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. The pandemic has been a concern for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which has been postponed to 2021 because of it. The Japanese government has been taking extra precautions to help minimise the outbreak's impact.
A resident of Kanagawa Prefecture in his 30's who had previously travelled to Wuhan developed a fever on 3 January and subsequently returned to Japan on 6 January. He tested positive during a hospital admission between 10 and 15 January. He had not visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, but possibly had close contact with an affected person in Wuhan.
Afterwards, Japan took extra precautions, due to the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics being held in Tokyo. Despite this, on 28 January, the fifth, sixth, and seventh cases were confirmed in Japan, including a man who had not visited Wuhan; he was a tour bus driver who had driven a group from Wuhan earlier in January. The tour guide for the group also tested confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. On 29 January, a Chinese man and woman in their 40s tested positive in Aichi and in Hokkaido.
On 30 January, three Japanese nationals who arrived at Haneda Airport after being evacuated from Wuhan tested positive. Three other cases were confirmed later that day. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the two Japanese nationals who came back via Haneda refused further testing and said that officials could not legally force them to do so. It was announced on 31 January that the two had recanted their protests and allowed them to be tested.
On 1 February, a 37-year-old man of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department working for the Cabinet Secretariat, which was responsible for the evacuation of citizens from Wuhan and other related matters, died at National Institute of Public Health in Saitama Prefecture. The institute was where some of the evacuees from Wuhan stayed under temporary quarantine. Police are investigating the man's cause of death, but they suspect he was suicidal.
From 3 February, Japan forbade anyone who had had history of travelling to and from Hubei Province or had a Chinese passport officially issued from Hubei. In addition, non-Japanese travellers were required to fill out health declaration questionnaires on whether they had (or would have) travelled to Hubei within the next 14 days.
On 11 February, two evacuees from Wuhan tested positive after an earlier test gave negative results. Another three cases were confirmed over the next two days and brought the total national count to 31.
On 13 February, a woman in her 80s died in Kanagawa Prefecture, next to Tokyo, marking the first death from COVID-19 in Japan. She was the mother-in-law of a cab driver working in Tokyo who was also confirmed positive for the virus.
On 14 February, a married couple, both in their 60s, tested positive after returning from a ten-day vacation in Hawaii, during which the man began showing symptoms. On 16 February, it was reported that they had used Delta Air Lines to return to Tokyo from Oahu and stayed at the Grand Waikikian. Contact tracing was initiated by the airline to confirm whether anyone was infected.
On 18 February, Wakayama Prefecture announced that three people tested positive and one of them was admitted to Saisekai Arida Hospital(済生会有田病院). The other two were a doctor who tested positive and a nurse in his 30s who worked as a member of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team after being deployed to the Diamond Princess.
On 19 February, testing the 3,011 cases on the Diamond Princess was completed.
On 21 February, two elementary school boys in Hokkaido and one preschool school boy were confirmed to test positive for SARS-CoV-2; the latter had came back from an airlift out of Wuhan with his father, who was also tested. The Diamond Princess' passengers disembarked.
On 23 February, the US State Department advised American visitors in Japan to be cautious due to the community spread of the virus. 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. Due to personnel shortages, six toll gates on the Tōkai and Manba routes of the expressway network were closed over the weekend.
On 25 February, the Shikoku region reported its first case in Tokushima Prefecture, a former passenger of the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship who had originally tested negative a week earlier when disembarking from the ship.
On 27 February, Shinzo Abe requested closing all elementary, junior high, and high schools to curb the spread of the infections from 2 March to the end of spring vacations, which usually conclude in early April.
On 4 March, A 50-year-old man refused to wait at home after testing positive for COVID-19, and went to a bar and restaurant until he decided to go to the hospital. A female bar owner in her 30s tested positive on 12 March. A man died in a hospital on 18 March according to JHWLM's official confirmed cases report.
On 6 March, South Korea protested against the quarantine measures for South Koreans going to Japan by suspending visas for Japanese citizens travelling to South Korea.
On 8 March, Hiroshima announced that one man in hiroshima confirmed positive after visited 4 Hospital facilities.
On 12 March, 4 fatal cases caused by COVID-19 were found around Japan on Thursday.
On 16 March, NHK reported that the Japanese government planned to expand entry restrictions to foreigners from four new countries. They will apply 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. Japan is currently restricting entry by foreigners who have recently visited China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.
On 19 March, the governors of Osaka and Hyogo prefectures asked residents Thursday to avoid nonessential travel between the two neighbouring western Japan prefectures over the three-day weekend starting Friday to contain the spread of the novel corona-virus.
On 21 March, Okayama confirmed that a female patient in their 60s was infected, which was its first case. Okayama announced that citizens have to "refrain as much as possible" from visiting clusters of infected people in Hyogo and Osaka.
On 22 March, Saitama and Gunma prefectures recorded their first deaths from the new coronavirus, while 46 additional cases of infection were confirmed as of 10 p.m. on March 22, including the first patient in Okayama Prefecture.
On 22 March, According to the Japanese Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry official confirmed a total of five deaths in one day.[page needed] An K-1 Grand Prix martial art event was held despite authorities asking the organizers to shut it down.
On 25 March, MHLW officials announced 71 person tested positive, including 41 cases in Tokyo, daily. Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike held an emergency press conference in the late afternoon of the day. 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. 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 Qujiote store in Nakameguro on Wednesday, customers flocked to grab instant noodles and canned goods in the minutes immediately following Koike's late-evening speech.
On 26 March, governors around Tokyo, including Chiba, Kanagawa, Saitama, and Yamanashi, strongly urged residents to follow Stay-at-Home Requests to prevent an explosive surge in infections among overflowing clusters causing “critical phase”. In Tokyo, residents were asked to work from home and refrain from going out at night and on the weekend. In Kanagawa, residents were asked to refrain from nonessential travel on the weekend. The residents of Chiba, Yamanashi, Tochigi and Gunma Prefectures were asked to refrain from going to Tokyo over the weekend.
On 28 March, PM Abe of Japan held a 1-hour-long press briefing about the economic measures being prepared by the Japanese government and considerable concerns of "explosive spread of overflowing infections" which is creating the regional requests around Japan, including Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Aichi where are at "critical phase" and "virtual standstill". Unfortunately for Prime Minister Abe, his wife's distance from social distance and promoting relative deprivation, despite of her position as prime minister's wife and public celebrity, has become a social controversy.
On 29 March, MHLW officials announced 194 person tested positive in a single day, including 58 person relative or disabled facility in Tōnoshō, Chiba Prefecture and 63 in Tokyo. 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 March 28 and that a record number of 68 people tested positive on March 29. It was also revealed that Tokyo now had 430 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the largest among Japan's 47 prefectures.
On 30 March, it was announced that on the previous night, famed Japanese comedian Ken Shimura, who was known as "Japan's Robin Williams," died in Shinjuku, Tokyo from severe pneumonia, having been diagnosed with COVID-19.
On 30 March, Fukuoka City has announced that it has been confirmed that women in their twenties living in the city and their children under one year old are infected with the new coronavirus. It is unusual for a child under one year to be infected nationwide. Both of them are hospitalized at an infectious disease designated medical institution outside Fukuoka City. On 30 March, it was confirmed that a woman in their 20s in Toyama City was infected with the new coronavirus for the first time in Toyama Prefecture. The woman was a student who attended Kyoto Sangyo University, and Toyama City and Toyama Prefecture are studying the history of women's behavior and the status of close contacts.
Okayama Prefecture announced on the evening of the 30th that one male in their 20s was newly infected with the new coronavirus. Men are students of Kyoto Sangyo University who are highly likely to have the outbreak of the new coronavirus, and only four have been confirmed in Okayama Prefecture. The male student was having a dinner in Kyoto city with his friends from Kyoto University of Technology on the 22nd two days ago, but it was confirmed that two of them who had travel experience in Europe were infected with the new coronavirus.
On 31 March, calls were made for Abe to declare a state of emergency. Several medical experts, local leading politicians, and governors raised their voices, directly or indirectly, calling for Abe to make the declaration. However, Prime Minister Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga deny a state of emergency is rapidly needed. According to the corresponding article in the Asahi Shimbun, one internet post said the state of emergency would be declared on 1 April followed by a lockdown of urban areas the following day. But on 30 March, Suga repeated his past statements that the situation had not reached such a critical point.
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.
On 24 January, PM 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 released by the World Health Organization (WHO) that morning which confirmed 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).
On 28 January, PM Abe designated the new coronavirus as an "infectious disease" under the Infectious Diseases Control Law (Japanese: 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 designed 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.
On 30 January, PM Abe announced the establishment of the "Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters" (Japanese: 新型コロナウイルス感染症対策本部), which meets at the Prime Minister's Office and is run by a task force led by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management Okita Yoshiki. The initial roster of the task force includes 36 high-ranking bureaucrats from several of the Ministries of Japan to coordinate government response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Headquarters acts as the site of PM Abe's decision-making process on the country's virus countermeasures.
On 31 January, PM Abe announced during the Second Meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters that the government prioritized 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.
On 1 February, PM Abe announced during the Fourth Meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters that he would enact restrictions to deny entry of foreign citizens who had a history of visiting Hubei province within 14 days and those who possess a Chinese passport issued by Hubei province.
On 5 February, PM Abe announced that he would invoke 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.
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 rising numbers of community spreads 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 existing 83 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, the 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 by the first half of the month. Such wards would provide medical examinations and testing for suspected carriers of the disease to protect general hospitals from infection.
On 5 February, PM Abe announced during the Fifth Meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters 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 any 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 had the ability to conduct PCR tests, Abe also promised to increase the number of institutions with such kits, including universities and private companies 
On 12 February, PM Abe announced during the Seventh Meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Headquarters 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. On the same day, the Ministry of Health and NIID also contracted SRL Inc to handle PCR clinical laboratory testing. Since then, the government has partnered with several more private companies to expand laboratory testing capabilities and to work towards the development of a rapid testing kit.
On 14 February, PM Abe introduced the Japanese government's coronavirus consultation system to coordinate medical testing and response with the public. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare worked with local governments to establish 536 consultation centres (Japanese: 帰国者・接触者相談センター) that covered every prefecture within the country to provide concerned 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 (Japanese: 帰国者・接触者外来).
On 16 February, PM Abe convened the government's first Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting (Japanese: 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. 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 PM Abe and the government's coronavirus task force in a roundtable format. The main concern of the Japanese medical establishment was an 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.
On 17 February, the Ministry of Health released its consultation guidelines (Japanese: 新型コロナウイルス感染症についての相談・受診の目安について) to each of the municipal and prefectural governments and their public health centers. The document instructs 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 Celsius for over four days while taking antipyretic medication; 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. The guidelines also note that people who are dissatisfied with their consultation results can visit one of the specialized outpatient wards (帰国者・接触者外来) for further talks.
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) to act as the government's uniform basic policy on COVID-19 control. After a spike of infections in Italy, Iran, and South Korea, PM Abe decided that the government's disease countermeasures would prioritize the prevention of large-scale clusters in Japan. This includes the government's controversial requests to suspend such large-scale gatherings as community events and school operations, as well as its policy to limit patients with light cold symptoms from visiting medical facilities to prevent them from overwhelming hospital resources.
On 23 February, PM Abe instructed the government's coronavirus task force to quickly draft a comprehensive basic policy. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato reconvened the medical experts from the first Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting on 24 February to draft this policy. 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 of PM Abe's basic policy must be the prevention of large-scale disease clusters and a decrease in the outbreak and death of patients with severe symptoms. They stated that it is not possible for the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Japan on a person-to-person basis, but that there is a possibility that it can regulate the overall speed of infection. They cited the next week or two as a "critical moment" on 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," elaborating that several of the hospital beds and resources in the Tokyo area are already preoccupied with caring for the surge of 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.
On 25 February, the Abe Administration adopted the "Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control" based on the advice that it received from the Expert Meeting.
First, the new policies advised local medical institutions that it is better for people with lighter, cold-like symptoms to rely on bed rest at home, rather than seeking medical help from clinics or hospitals. The policy also recommends people at a higher risk of infection -including the elderly and patients with pre-existing conditions – to avoid hospital visits for such non-treatment purposes as completing prescription orders by letting them fill the forms over the telephone instead of in person.
Second, the new policies allow 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 asks 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, PM Abe requested the closures 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.
On 27 February, the Japanese government also announced plans to expand the national health insurance system so that it covers COVID-19 tests.
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.
On 9 March, the Health Ministry published a disease forecast of each prefecture and instructed their local governments to prepare their hospitals to accommodate its patient estimates. It predicts that the virus peak of each prefecture will occur three months after their first reported case of local transmission. The Ministry estimates that during its peak, Tokyo will 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.
On 16 February, PM Abe convened the Novel Coronavirus Expert Meeting to incorporate members of the Japanese medical community into his decision-making process. The panel acts as the main medical advisory body of the Japanese government during the COVID-19 crisis.
On 25 February, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare established a "Cluster Response Section" (Japanese: クラスター対策班) in accordance to the Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control. The purpose of the new section is to quickly identify and contain small-scale clusters of COVID-19 infections before they turn into large-scale ones. It is led by university professors Oshitani Hitoshi and Nishiura Hiroshi and consists of a contact trace 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. Whenever a local government determines the existence of a cluster from hospital reports, the Ministry of Health dispatches the Section to that area to conduct an epidemiological survey and contact tracing. 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.
On 15 March, the Ministry of Health reported fifteen COVID-19 clusters in Japan. The largest cluster involves more than 80 people across four live music clubs in Osaka from concerts held in mid-February. Another cluster of 50 people occurred at an elderly day care centre in Nagoya in early March, which resulted in 12 deaths.
To provide a stronger legal basis for its COVID-19 countermeasures, the Abe Administration has proposed an amendment to the "Special Measures Act to Counter New Types of Influenza of 2012" that will allow it to declare a "state of emergency" and mandate the prohibition of large-scale gatherings and the movement of people during a disease outbreak. Currently, school closures and event cancellations are voluntary responses by the public and local governments.
On 5 February 2020, 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 Liberal Democratic Party, Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and Democratic Party for the People – 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.
On 5 March 2020, Prime Minister Abe introduced a draft amendment to the "Special Measures Act to Counter New Types of Influenza of 2012". He met separately with the heads of five opposition parties on 4 March to promote a "united front" in passing the reforms. The new law would allow the national and prefectural governors to instruct residents to avoid unnecessary outings and to close such facilities as schools, day care centres, and social welfare facilities for the elderly. To allay the concerns of the opposition parties, Abe said he would include a two-year limit on the power to declare a state of emergency.
The Abe Administration plans to submit the revision bill to the National Diet on 10 March, and has coordinated with the opposition parties to have it passed by the Lower House on 12 March, and the Upper House on 13 March.
On 12 February, PM Abe announced during the Eighth Meeting of the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters that the government would secure a total of 500 billion yen for emergency lending and loan guarantees to small and medium enterprises affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. 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, PM 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 it to residents.
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.
From 17 February, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare asked people who have a fever over 37.5 ℃ for more than 4 days or those who have recognized strong helplessness and difficulty breathing severer than such conditions for influenza are necessary to find and consult with the coronavirus-related 'Return and Contact Consultation Center' installed in local governments around the country before get tested for novel coronavirus. However, some media outlets assert that restrictive and deliberate standards would rather delay response and create a socially loose atmosphere, 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.
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). Some of these cases involved patients with severe pneumonia. In reaction to this problem, the chairman of the Institute for Healthcare Governance Masahiro Kami claimed that many patients were refused to be tested 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.
On 26 February, the Minister of Health Katsunobu stated in the National Diet that a total of 6,300 samples were tested between 18 and 24 February, averaging 900 samples per day. Some representatives questioned the discrepancy of the actual number of people tested and the claim in the prior week that 3,800 samples could be tested per day.
South Korean media outlets have also compared the number of samples tested and the number of confirmed cases between Japan and South Korea, leading them to believe that there are more cases of the virus in Japan. This has led to speculations in South Korea that the decision not to increase the number of samples tested was influenced by the country's plans to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics.
On the same day, more doctors reported that they were refused by the public health centres to test the patients. The Japan Medical Association announced that it would start a nationwide investigation and plan to cooperate with the government to improve the situation. The Ministry of Health also stated that it would look into the situation with the local governments.
According to an NHK News poll conducted from 6 to 9 March 2020, 6% of respondents strongly approved of the national government's response, while 43% somewhat approved, 34% somewhat disapproved and 13% strongly disapproved of the government response. Specifically, 69% viewed the closure of most schools as unavoidable, while 24% viewed the action as too drastic. Regarding the entry restrictions from China and South Korea, 36% strongly approved, 41% somewhat approved, 13% somewhat disapproved and 5% strongly disapproved. On the other hand, the South Korean government criticized the Japanese government for restricting Koreans from entering the country to prevent the disease, saying, "unreasonable and excessive measures".
The first case was identified in Hokkaido on 28 January 2020, and the first case of an infected person in Hokkaido was on 14 February. To limit the spread of infection in Hokkaido, the governor of Hokkaido, Naomichi Suzuki, announced the Declaration of a New Coronavirus Emergency on 28 February of the same year, calling on locals to refrain from going out.
On 13 February 2020, three cases of confirmed infection were announced in the Kanto region, and one case was confirmed in Kanagawa, Tokyo, and Chiba. On 6 March 2020, it was confirmed that 121 infected people were reported in 5 prefectures including Tochigi and Saitama in total. 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.
As of 31 March, a total of 521 people were confirmed infected in Tokyo, and a total of 993 people were confirmed in the Kanto region.
The first case was identified in Aichi on 26 January 2020, and the first case of an infected person in Aichi was on 14 February. As the spread of the new coronavirus continues, Governor Omura of Aichi Prefecture has recognized that there are two groups of infected people called "clusters" in the prefecture, mainly in Nagoya. He emphasized the idea of working with Nagoya City Government to prevent the spread of infection.
Apart from individual quarantine measures, Japan does not have any laws that allow the government to restrict the movement of people in order to contain the virus. 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]".
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said that "the new coronavirus is having a major impact on tourism, the economy and our society as a whole". Face masks have sold out across the nation and stocks of face masks are depleted within a day of new arrivals. There has been pressure placed on the healthcare system as demands for medical checkups increase. Chinese people have reported increasing discrimination. The health minister has pointed out that the situation has not reached a point where mass gatherings must be called off.
Aviation, retail and tourism sectors have reported decreased sales and some manufacturers have complained about disruption to Chinese factories, logistics and supply chains. Prime Minister Abe has considered using emergency funds to mitigate the outbreak's impact on tourism, of which Chinese nationals account for 40%. S&P Global noted that the worst hit shares were from companies spanning travel, cosmetics and retail sectors which are most exposed to Chinese tourism. Nintendo announced that they would delay shipment of the Nintendo Switch, which is manufactured in China, to Japan.
On 28 February 2020, according to Oriental Land, a leisure and amusement company confirmed report, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disney Resort were temporarily closed from 29 February, at the start, they had been trying to plan to begin to operation in 15 march, however, with rescheduling operations to resume in early April. The Comcast-owned Universal Studios Japan also announced a closure on the same day. The latter would also resume on 16 March. Currently, Tokyo Disney Resort stated that they will remain closed by extending the temporary closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The outbreak itself has been a concern for the 2020 Summer Olympics which is scheduled to take place in Tokyo starting at the end of July. The national government has thus been taking extra precautions to help minimise the outbreak's impact. The Tokyo organising committee and the International Olympic Committee have been monitoring the outbreak's impact in Japan.
Additionally, 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 (soccer) and Top League (rugby) suspended or postponed play entirely. Horseracing, Keirin, Kyotei and Auto race events remain on their usual schedule, but spectators cannot enter racecourse and cannot bet at offtrack betting. Customers can only bet over the internet and by telephone.
On 26 February, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suggested that major sporting, cultural and other events should be cancelled, delayed or scaled down for about two weeks amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
On 28 February, Legoland Japan Resort was closed for three weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The park reopened on 23 March 2020 with short business hours, staff wearing masks, and temperature checks. Reopening was decided by confined space, density, and social distance.
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.
On 25 March, the news that Japanese entertainment giant Ken Shimura has become infected is known all over Japan and around the world. It was the day after Tokyo announced that a lockdown was also possible to prevent the medical collapse caused by the explosive spread of overflowing cluster. Shimura died on 29 March at the age of 70.
On 31 March, a press conference held by TV Asahi revealed that Rio Komiya, the actor of Jūru Atsuta in Mashin Sentai Kiramager, had been tested positive for COVID-19. The production of Kiramager had stopped since the previous week as Toei Studios shut down for disinfection. However, according to Toei, there are episodes already filmed and available for airing until the middle of May.
On 26 January, Japanese people donated a batch of epidemic prevention masks and delivered them to Wuhan after Sichuan Airlines arrived in Chengdu. According to "liberal digital times" of Taiwan, it believes that instead of donating from Japan, China bought from Japan, but according to Japanese media reports and the Japanese Consulate General in Chongqing stated that it was a donation.
On 3 February, four organizations, the Japan Pharmaceutical NPO Corporation, the Japan Hubei Federation, Huobi Global, and Incuba Alpha, donated materials to Hubei and wrote, "Is it clothesless? With the same clothes." (From "Book of Songs · Qin Feng · No Clothes") and "An Exotic Mountain and River, Same Wind and Moon".
On 10 February, Liberal Democratic Party's Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said at a press conference after the cadre meeting that the outbreak of coronavirus in mainland China has expanded, The Liberal Democratic Party will deduct 5,000 yen from the March funding of members of the party to provide mainland China with support funds.
As following to cancelled for major festival
As following to cancelled for major contests
The following countries and territories have restricted entry from Japan:
|16 Jan 2020||1||1||0||N/A||N/A|
|24 Jan 2020||1||2||0||N/A||N/A|
|25 Jan 2020||1||3||0||N/A||N/A|
|26 Jan 2020||1||4||0||N/A||N/A|
|28 Jan 2020||3||7||0||N/A||N/A|
|29 Jan 2020||1||8||0||N/A||N/A|
|30 Jan 2020||6||14||0||N/A||N/A|
|31 Jan 2020||3||17||0||N/A||N/A|
|1 Feb 2020||3||20||0||N/A||N/A|
|4 Feb 2020||3||23||0||2||N/A|||
|5 Feb 2020||2||25||0||4||N/A|||
|8 Feb 2020||1||26||0||N/A||N/A|
|11 Feb 2020||2||28||0||10||954|||
|12 Feb 2020||1||29||0||11||964|||
|13 Feb 2020||4||33||1||12||978|||
|14 Feb 2020||7||41||1||N/A||N/A|||
|15 Feb 2020||12||53||1||N/A||N/A|||
|16 Feb 2020||6||59||1||16||1,251|||
|17 Feb 2020||7||66||1||16||1,287|||
|18 Feb 2020||8||74||1||18||1,296|||
|19 Feb 2020||10||84||1||20||1,432|||
|20 Feb 2020||9||93||1||20||1,522|||
|21 Feb 2020||12||105||1||21||1,607|||
|22 Feb 2020||27||132||1||24||1,703|||
|23 Feb 2020||12||144||1||26||1,742|||
|24 Feb 2020||12||156||1||27||1,846|||
|25 Feb 2020||15||171||1||32||1,890|||
|26 Feb 2020||24||186||3||40||2,058|||
|27 Feb 2020||26||210||4||41||2,209|||
|28 Feb 2020||10||220||5||42||2,339|||
|29 Feb 2020||9||239||5||42||2,517|||
|1 Mar 2020||15||254||6||43||2,613|||
|2 Mar 2020||14||268||6||46||2,684|||
|3 Mar 2020||16||284||6||48||6,519|||
|4 Mar 2020||33||317||6||49||6,777|||
|5 Mar 2020||31||333||6||60||7,476|||
|6 Mar 2020||59||407||6||67||8,029|||
|7 Mar 2020||47||454||6||80||8,176|||
|8 Mar 2020||33||487||7||101||8,286|||
|9 Mar 2020||26||513||9||102||9,600|||
|10 Mar 2020||54||567||12||118||10,024|||
|11 Mar 2020||52||619||15||123||10,205|||
|12 Mar 2020||56||675||19||135||12,060|||
|13 Mar 2020||41||716||21||144||12,919|||
|14 Mar 2020||64||780||22||157||13,026|||
|15 Mar 2020||34||814||24||164||13,068|||
|16 Mar 2020||15||829||28||171||15,151|||
|17 Mar 2020||44||873||29||191||15,354|||
|18 Mar 2020||41||914||31||214||14,901|||
|19 Mar 2020||36||950||33||227||18,844|||
|20 Mar 2020||57||1007||35||232||18,963|||
|21 Mar 2020||39||1046||36||272||20,228|||
|22 Mar 2020||43||1089||41||285||20,340|||
|23 Mar 2020||39||1128||42||301||24,430|||
|24 Mar 2020||65||1193||43||310||23,521|||
|25 Mar 2020||98||1291||45||359||25,171|||
|26 Mar 2020||73||1364||46||tbd||tbd|||
|2020/02/18||3[d 3]||1[d 4]||1||3||8||74||-||1||18||1,296|
|2020/03/04||3||1||4||8[d 10] [d 11]||2||9[d 12]||1||4||1||1||1||1[i 6]||36||330||-||6||49||6,777|
|2020/03/06||7||1, 1||3||6[d 13]||6||3||1||1||5||1, 2||1||13||4||2||57||418||-||6||67||8,029|
|2020/03/07||8||1||5||5[d 14]||1||1||1[i 7]||7||1||10||2[d 15]||1||1||44||462||-||6||80||8,176|
|2020/03/08||3||1||11[d 16] [d 17]||14||2[d 18]||2||33||495||1||7||101||8,286|
|2020/03/10||3||1||3||2||5[d 20]||3||1||13[d 21] [d 22]||1||1||18[d 23]||8||59||582||3||12||118||10,024|
|2020/03/11||7||2||6||3||2||5||5||1||2||7||13[d 24] [d 25]||53||635||3||15||123||10,205|
|2020/03/14||7||1||2||9||7||2||2||1||7[d 27]||1[i 9]||10||11[d 28]||1||1[i 10]||62||789||1||22||157||13,026|
|2020/03/15||4||3||6||1||1||4||11[d 29] [d 30]||2[i 11]||32||821||2||24||164||13,068|
|2020/03/18||2||1||2||2||9||4||1||5||1||1||2||5||5[d 31]||41||923||2||31||214||14,901[i 13]|||
|2020/03/22||3||1||3||2||5||6||2||2||1||1||6||4[d 32]||1||1||8||1[i 16]||46||1101||5||41||285||20,340|
|2020/03/23||2||1||1||16[d 33]||1||1||2[d 34]||3||1||1||3||2||1||1||1||1[i 17]||38||1139||1||42||301||24,430|
|2020/03/25||4||4||4||4||41[d 36]||4||1||1||1||6||2||1||4||7||1||1||2||1||1||5[i 18]||95||1309||2||45||359||25,171|
^ A single number enclosed in parenthesis indicates cases with China travel history.
Underlining indicates cases previously passengers of Diamond Princess.
* Deaths (MM/DD):
03/09: one in Kanagawa (death on 03/08),
03/10: one in Aichi,
03/11: one in Aichi (80s, M),
03/12: one in Hokkaidō,
03/13: one in Aichi (senior, M),
03/14: one in Aichi (senior, F),
03/20: one in Aichi (senior, M);
03/22: two; one in Gunma (senior, M) and one in Saitama.
03/25: one in Hokkaidō (senior, M).
03/26: one in Aichi (70s, M).
03/27: one in Tōkyō.
03/28: one in Chiba.