Japan confirmed 86 daily coronavirus cases Monday, the fewest since June last year and sharply down from a record 25,992 cases reported on Aug. 20 when the country was going through its fifth wave of infections.
Infections have been declining steadily across Japan, with Tokyo logging nine cases on Monday for the first drop into the single digits since late May last year. Among other populated prefectures, Osaka and Fukuoka each reported seven cases the same day.
Since late August, Japan started showing a steady decline in infections, with some experts attributing the decline to progress in getting people vaccinated.
While the number of cases reported on Mondays tends to come in lower than usual due to fewer tests conducted during weekends, Tokyo's cases were the lowest since May 31, 2020.
The latest seven-day average of new infections stood at 23.4 per day, down 20.9 percent from the previous week, according to the metropolitan government.
The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms has also been trending downward, easing the strain on hospitals and health care workers.
Monday's daily figure brought Tokyo's cumulative total to 381,664, by far the highest among Japan's 47 prefectures.
With the number of new cases declining, the Japanese government has been easing coronavirus restrictions on eateries and other places to bring social and economic activities closer to pre-pandemic levels.
The government on Monday eased its 10,000-spectator attendance limit for large-scale events, such as professional sports and concerts, which was in place in 27 of the country's 47 prefectures.