Bowing to pressure from the central government and media, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has unexpectedly released a stockpile of data on the number of coronavirus tests conducted and the infection rate dating back to late January.

Disjointed data on testing, not just in Tokyo but throughout Japan, has been the subject of controversy and scrutiny for months. Researchers say it’s impossible to understand the true severity of the pandemic without this information.

While testing remains comparatively low in Japan, the capital's decision to release this information — and voice its intention to do so every day — marks a significant shift in its policy on information disclosure.