Japan's Immigration Services Agency says the number of foreigners who entered the country in March fell by more than 90 percent from the same month last year, due largely to refused entries attributed to the coronavirus.
Preliminary data from the agency shows that 152,162 foreigners arrived in Japan. That number excludes people who were given permission to re-enter. The figure was 2,504,193 in March, 2019.
About a month has passed since European countries began lockdowns to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. They are now divided over whether to ease or continue their approach.
On Tuesday, Austria partially eased its lockdown and other strict measures that had been in place since last month. Some shops in Vienna, including clothing shops, reopened for the first time in a month. Pedestrian traffic appears to be gradually increasing.
E-commerce giant Rakuten says more than 700 hotels on its travel website can accommodate patients with mild symptoms of coronavirus.
Rakuten officials say they want to help free up space at overburdened hospitals. They say they are approaching 36,000 accommodations, and that so far, 744 say they are available. Rakuten says this would open up about 91,000 rooms.
Many Fukushima residents have expressed concern over a possible scheme to release diluted radioactive wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the sea or air in the prefecture.
The government on Monday held the first meeting to hear local opinions on ways to handle the wastewater accumulating at the plant.
Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and the main governing Liberal Democratic Party have agreed to give roughly 2,800 dollars to households whose income has fallen to a certain level due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Abe and LDP policy chief Kishida Fumio agreed on the 300,000-yen cash handout on Friday as part of discussions on an emergency economic package.
Six more infections of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Japan as of Thursday morning, bringing the total number to 1,313.
The figure was provided by the health ministry and local governments. It includes 14 cases confirmed among people who returned from China's Hubei Province on chartered flights.
Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido is to lift a state of emergency declared last month in response to the new coronavirus outbreak there.
Governor Naomichi Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday that the three-week emergency period will expire on the following day as planned. He announced the declaration on February 28.