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The Tokyo metropolitan gov't confirmed that it recorded 1,979 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the highest daily total since mid-January, raising concerns further about a more widespread outbreak of the virus just as the Tokyo Olympic Games get underway.
- The hosting of the Games remains controversial in Japan, and if a major wave of infections becomes linked to the event it could lead to a backlash against the gov't of PM Yoshihide Suga. The gov't is already struggling with declining approval ratings ahead of this autumn's general election.
- The Tokyo authorities and the gov't have frequently stated that a spike in cases ahead of the Games could lead to their suspension, but with just over 24 hours until the opening ceremony is slated to start, this seems unlikely.
Source: JHU, MNI. N.b. Each dot indicates individual data point.