Japan recorded more than 25,000 cases of coronavirus on Saturday. The daily tally is almost as high as the record, which was set in August, during the fifth wave of infections.
The surge in cases has left many regions on high alert.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 4,561 new cases. It's the first time the number has exceeded 4,500 since August.
As of Friday, the capital's hospital bed occupancy rate was 16.6 percent. The metropolitan government plans to ask the central government to declare a quasi-state of emergency for Tokyo if the occupancy rate climbs to 20 percent.
The Osaka Prefectural Government recorded 3,692 new cases... a record high.
As of Friday, Osaka's hospital bed occupancy rate was 21.5 percent. The governor of Osaka says he will ask the central government to declare a quasi-emergency if the rate reaches 35 percent.
Okinawa Prefecture is already under a quasi-state of emergency.
The prefectural government today reported a record 1,829 new cases. The number has been over 1,500 for three days in a row.
The hospital bed occupancy rate is 53.2 percent. The central government can declare a state of emergency once the occupancy rate reaches 50 percent.
The prefecture's panel of experts met today. They noted that although infections were initially spreading mainly among young people, now they are rising more among elderly residents.
Central government officials believe they will have little choice but to consider placing greater Tokyo and the Kansai area under a quasi-emergency, if infections continue to spread at the current pace.
They also plan to closely monitor trends in other regions where case counts are rising sharply, in order to respond quickly and flexibly.
Efforts are underway to speed up the rollout of vaccine booster shots.