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Japan confirmed 53,478 new COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths related to the disease on Thursday, March 17, 2022.

Japan confirmed 53,478 new COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths related to the disease on Thursday, March 17, 2022. (Aaron Kidd/Stars and Stripes)

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TOKYO – Japan’s capital city, which will drop most of its three-month-old pandemic restrictions next week, reported another 7,825 COVID-19 infections Friday, according to public broadcaster NHK.

New case numbers in Japan, although they fluctuate day to day, continue to decline from one week to the next.

Tokyo on Thursday averaged 8,159 new cases per day during the previous seven days, according to the most recent metropolitan government data available. The seven-day moving average was 9,402 cases on March 10.

At the omicron variant’s peak on Feb. 8, the city’s seven-day average reached 18,575 new cases per day.

Japan confirmed 53,478 new cases Thursday and 171 deaths related to COVID-19, according to the Johns Hopkin’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

The nation’s seven-day average was 48,589 on Thursday, down from 53,939 on March 10, according to Johns Hopkins. The peak seven-day average came Feb. 6 at 94,491.

U.S. Forces Japan, which did away with most of its COVID-19 mask requirements on Monday, reported 52 new cases Friday, 98 new cases Thursday and 102 Wednesday, according to updates this week.

Friday’s new case count is the lowest since USFJ began posting updates in January.

The command ended the working week with an average 83.6 new cases per day.

Yokosuka Naval Base, the 7th Fleet’s homeport south of Tokyo, reported 12 new cases Friday. It was the only U.S. base with more than 10, according to USFJ.

USFJ reported one person hospitalized Wednesday, but no serious cases of the coronavirus respiratory disease. Yokosuka that day accounted for 23 new cases, the Marine Corps base Camp Foster on Okinawa had 18 and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni had 15, according to USFJ.

Three installations reported 17 new cases Thursday: Yokosuka, Kadena Air Base on Okinawa and Misawa Air Base in northeastern Japan. MCAS Iwakuni followed with 12, according to USFJ.

Kadena, one of the few U.S. installations still self-reporting case totals, had 108 cases as of Wednesday, according to its website.

Okinawa prefecture, home to tens of thousands of U.S. troops and their families, on Friday reported another 618 had contracted the respiratory disease, along with 15 new cases in the U.S. military population, according to the prefectural Department of Public Health and Medical Care.

Stars and Stripes reporter Mari Higa contributed to this report.

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Joseph Ditzler is a Marine Corps veteran and the Pacific editor for Stars and Stripes. He’s a native of Pennsylvania and has written for newspapers and websites in Alaska, California, Florida, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania. He studied journalism at Penn State and international relations at the University of Oklahoma.
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