The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is significantly affecting the construction industry in Japan and delaying or suspending major construction projects. It has raised a number of questions about standard construction work contracts commonly used in the industry, including: How is a force majeure event defined? Does the COVID-19 pandemic constitute a force majeure event? What are the legal consequences of a force majeure event? This article discusses these questions. Please contact us if we can assist with the analysis of these or similar issues related to construction contracts or other commercial agreements related to your business in Japan.