After mounting speculation it was just a matter of time, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finally pulled the trigger late Tuesday, declaring a 30-day state of emergency in seven prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka.
"We declare a state of emergency, based on the provisions of Article 32 Paragraph 1 of the Revised Special Measures against Novel Influenza."
The decision came after an advisory committee agreed there was a considerable number of infections in Japan, where the pathways cannot be traced.
According to Abe, despite the declaration, city lockdowns like those seen in other countries are unlikely and necessary economic and social services, such as public transportation will continue as much as possible.
He said Japan will prevent the spread by taking measures against situations that involve the "three Cs", namely close spaces, close density, and close contacts.
This means urging everyone to cut their contact with others by 70 to 80 percent for one month.
On the day of the declaration, Japan saw 339 additional COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections past five-thousand.
That includes the 712 people infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Abe had been under mounting pressure to declare a state of emergency to ensure compliance with growing calls for social distancing, amid the surging number of cases in Japan that cannot be traced.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.