Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday asked organizers to carefully examine the need to hold large sports and entertainment events after a government panel of medical experts warned of a potential "explosive" increase in domestic infections of COVID-19.

Speaking at a meeting of a government task force on Japan's latest coronavirus response, Abe also instructed the education ministry to draw up guidelines for the possible reopening of schools after spring break, which typically ends in early April.

Abe has already asked that big events be canceled, postponed, or scaled down to reduce group transmission risks and for all schools to shut until the end of spring break. The school year typically starts in April.