While the fans have known that the first part of the long-awaited Tokyo zone would be coming with Issue #9, Bylos dropped a small bombshell that a new system will arrive as well. "We will be introducing the new Aegis system," he said, "which will expand the horizontal progression of The Secret World and provide new mechanics that allow us to build consistent horizontal progression mechanics that will keep content fresh, not only in Tokyo, but also for all new areas in the future."
Bylos reports that "full production is underway" for Issue #9, including work on missions, characters, motion capture, and voice acting. He said that once it's completed, it will be the single largest content update the MMO has seen to date.
[Thanks to Cotic for the tip!]