TOKYO, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Japan confirmed 1,002 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, exceeding 1,000 for the first time, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.

In Tokyo, the epicenter of Japan's outbreak, 250 new cases were reported on Wednesday. The daily tally of the capital has been above 200 every day in the past week except once.

Meanwhile, the western prefecture of Osaka confirmed 221 cases, topping 200 for the first time since the outbreak began.

As of 5:30 p.m. local time Wednesday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide stood at 33,247, with the figure excluding 712 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama near Tokyo.