Social contact patterns in Japan in the COVID-19 pandemic during and after the Tokyo Olympic Games

Shinya Tsuzuki, Yusuke Asai, Yoko Ibuka, Tomoki Nakaya, Norio Ohmagari, Niel Hens, Philippe Beutels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Social contact data in Japan have not been updated since 2011. The main objectives of this study are to report on newly collected social contact data, to study mixing patterns in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to compare the contact patterns during and after mass events like the 2020 Olympic Games, which were held in 2021. Methods: We compared the number of contacts per day during and after the Olympic Games and on weekdays and weekends; we also compared them with a pre-COVID-19 pandemic social contact study in Japan. Contact matrices consisting of the age-specific average number of contacted persons recorded per day were obtained from the survey data. Reciprocity at the population level was achieved by using a weighted average. Results: The median number of contacts per day was 3 (interquartile range (IQR) = 1-6). The occurrence of the Olympic Games and the temporal source of data (weekday or weekend) did not change the results substantially. All three matrices derived from this survey showed age-specific assortative mixing patterns like the previous social contact survey. Conclusions: The frequency of social contact in Japan did not change substantially during the Tokyo Olympic Games. However, the baseline frequency of social mixing declined vs those collected in 2011.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5047
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Global Health
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec 3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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