TOKYO, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Japan reported a total of 20,000,343 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, more than doubled in less than two months from that logged on July 14, statistics showed.

The country registered 99,491 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. A total of 211 people were reported dead, bringing the total death toll to 42,363, according to data from the country's public broadcaster NHK.

Japan has seen its seventh wave of COVID-19 infections since July, and the number of new confirmed cases and deaths in a single day remains at a high level.

The rapid rise in the number of deaths has made it difficult to cremate the dead in some parts of Japan, local media has reported.

In Japan, the number of new infections in the latest week was 69 percent higher than the previous week, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a report Wednesday.

Most of the country's new coronavirus deaths in July and August were among people over 70 years old. People aged 70 and above accounted for about 91 percent of COVID-19 deaths between June 29 and Aug. 30, Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun reported, citing data from the ministry.

Japan's Asahi Shimbun said that the average life expectancy of Japanese men and women was shortened by 0.1 years and 0.07 years in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the first time in 10 years that the average life expectancy of Japanese people has been shortened since the March 11 earthquake in 2011.

The World Health Organization said that in the week from Aug. 29 to Sept. 4, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Japan surpassed 1,160,000, the highest number in the world for the seventh consecutive week. During the same period, Japan's death toll from the coronavirus reached 2,059, ranking second in the world after the United States.