The Golden Week holiday period began in earnest on Saturday, with the first day of five consecutive vacation days relatively quiet in major areas as measures against COVID-19 dissuaded many people from traveling. On Thursday, the start of Golden Week, some shinkansen were at below 10% capacity.

In an unwelcome reminder of the Diamond Princess fiasco more than a year ago, a Japanese cruise ship returned to Yokohama port Saturday after a passenger tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In a Kyodo survey released over the weekend, more than half of respondents said Japan needs to amend its Constitution to introduce an emergency clause so that it can better respond to pandemics and other disasters.

Japan’s Golden Week, what’s it all about? (Tokyo Station) | ONLY IN JAPAN * GO
Japan’s Golden Week, what’s it all about? (Tokyo Station) | ONLY IN JAPAN * GO

The health ministry and a contracted medical service firm revealed Saturday that despite pledges to self-isolate upon arrival in Japan, around 300 people daily may be breaking quarantine.

Penalties for Japanese nationals who fail to comply include naming and shaming, whereas foreign nationals can have their status of residence revoked and face deportation.

Yesterday’s (and last Sunday’s) new COVID-19 cases by prefecture (100 or over): Osaka 1,057 (1,050), Tokyo 879 (635), Hyogo 539 (473), Fukuoka 417 (334), Aichi 350 (225), Hokkaido 326 (110), Saitama 290 (221), Kanagawa 247 (221), Kyoto 164 (150), Chiba 182 (146), Okayama 114 (65). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker