TOKYO — Japan reported more than 500 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus for the first time Thursday, the latest in a sudden spike in infections since the Tokyo Olympics were postponed till next year. Before the Games were pushed back, Japan appeared to have its outbreak largely under control. Despite the global pandemic, organizers maintained they were forging ahead with preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics to kick off in Tokyo on July 24, and they encouraged athletes to do the same. Then on March 24, amid mounting calls to delay or cancel the Olympics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee announced that the upcoming Games would be held a year later due to the worldwide health crisis. On that day, Japan had reported just 1,140 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled at the time by Johns Hopkins University. As of Thursday night, that tally was up to around 5,500, not including the 712 cases linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Tokyo earlier this year, according to figures published by Japan’s national broadcaster NHK. By prefecture, Tokyo tops the list

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