With three months to go before the Olympics on 23 July, a third emergency announcement has been placed over Tokyo and Osaka, amid a new pandemic wave.
The curbs come during Japan's 'golden week' — with four national holidays from 29 April to 5 May, and where travel and crowding at public places are expected.
The emergency orders will end on 11 May, the third state of emergency since the pandemic began.
This time, bars, malls, departmental stores, theatres, museums and theme parks will all be closed, with restaurants and public transport made to end operations early.
The last and second state of emergency ended only about a month ago, when Greater Tokyo, including
the Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama prefectures exited the virus emergency on 22 March.
Japan has vaccinated under 1% of its population, but has yet to enforce any lockdowns despite growing displeasure from the locals.
New president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, has indicated that several test events will move ahead as planned during this latest state of emergency, but fans will not be included.
It was also decided earlier in March that the Olympics would go on — but without spectators.
In March, Japan also became the newest to join a growing list of destinations requiring Covid passports for travel, with a digital certificate showing negative test results expected for launch this month.