The western Japanese city of Kobe has found a growing number of coronavirus cases there involved a variant first detected in Britain. It says the latest survey showed about 55 percent of samples it checked involved the variant.
The city has been conducting a survey to judge the spread of variants.
Officials announced survey results for the week from March 5 through March 11 on Friday.
They said that of 105 samples tested, 58, or 55.2 percent, involved infection with a new strain.
They said all the cases involved the UK variant.
The city also announced that one person died after being infected with a variant. It is the first confirmed death in the city from a variant.
Kobe Mayor Hisamoto Kizo said it is obvious that cases involving a variant have been on the rise. He called on residents to step up antivirus measures.
He also said he wants the central government to provide information about whether variants are likely to cause more serious illness, and how infectious they are.