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Japan’s coronavirus cases have exceeded 100,000 nine months after the first case was found in mid-January, the Ministry of Health said on Friday.

The country confirmed 808 new cases Thursday, bringing the cumulative COVID-19 cases to 100,334, including 712 people on a cruise ship that was docked outside a Japanese port earlier this year.

About a third of the cases come from Tokyo, where 221 cases were confirmed Thursday, bringing the prefectural total of 30,677 with 453 deaths. Nationwide, Japan has more than 1,700 deaths.

Experts say Japan has so far managed to avoid “explosive” infections like in Europe and the US without enforcing bans, most likely thanks to the sharing of face masks and disinfectants, as well as other common preventive measures, including social distancing.

Japan had a nationwide state of emergency in April and May and saw a less severe second wave in August. Since then, there has been a slight upward trend in new cases in northern Japan’s prefectures, sparking concerns about a winter surge.


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