Top News

Japanese language to determine order of Olympic parade of athletes

Japanese language to determine order of Olympic parade of athletes

The Tokyo Games organizing committee has decided the marching order at next year's opening ceremony's parade of nations will be determined using Japanese-language names and Japan's "fifty-sound" phonetic order, sources close to the games said Thursday. The decision to thrust the Japanese language into the spotlight at the iconic parade of athletes was made in the hope of promoting Japan's culture on the world's biggest stage when the postponed Olympics start on July 23. Athletes from participating nations in Japan's past three Olympics -- the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo, the 1972 Winter Games in Sapporo and the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano -- all marched according to English alphabetical order to emphasize international understanding. Japanese athletes march at National Stadium during the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Oct. 10, 1964. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo Sources said that Tokyo Games organizers decided to use Japanese this time in coordination with the Japanese government and notified each National Olympic Committee of the plan at a meeting earlier this month. Details of the order will be announced sometime before the games. It has also been decided that Japanese athletes names' written in the Roman alphabet will appear in Olympic television broadcasts with their surname first, followed by their given name -- the same order used when names are written in Japanese. International Olympic Committee guidelines stipulate that Greece, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, is the first to march in the parade, while the host country marches last. The remaining countries and regions usually march in alphabetical order according to the host country's language. The marching order the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in Brazil was determined using the Portuguese language, while Korean was employed at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in South Korea. Photo taken from a Kyodo News helicopter on July 21, 2020, shows the National Stadium, the main venue of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.  (Kyodo) ==Kyodo In December 2019, before the Olympics were postponed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the IOC announced some changes to the traditional marching order for Tokyo, with the Refugee Olympic Team to follow Greece. In order to promote future Olympics, the IOC wanted the hosts of the next two Summer Games to march at the end. In that way, the 2028 host, the United States, would be followed by 2024 host France before Japan's team brings the parade to a climactic finish.    

FOCUS: Japanese firms may face rocky road ahead on China's policies

2 hours ago | KYODO NEWS


China to uphold strategy to spur domestic demand amid U.S. tensions

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS


Japan urges South Korea to present solution over wartime labor row

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS


Japanese actor Kentaro Ito arrested in hit-and-run case

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS


Snowboarding Olympic medalist convicted for hit and run

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS

Coronavirus

Japan's total coronavirus cases top 100,000

Japan's total coronavirus cases top 100,000

Japan's cumulative total of confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 100,000 on Thursday, according to a tally based on official data, amid a recent uptick in the number of new infections coinciding with a resumption of economic activity. The single-day number of new cases across the country reported Thursday was 809, eclipsing the 800 mark for the first time since Aug. 29, as some clusters of infections have been detected since early this month. The total figure includes about 700 cases aboard the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama in February. There have been more than 1,700 deaths in the country attributed to the virus. Confirmed cases in Japan surged in April, prompting the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency that called for people to stay at home and some businesses to temporarily close, while imposing strict entry restrictions for foreign travelers from most of the world. Daily figures peaked in August at around 1,600 and have since slowed, but experts advising the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare have warned of an upward trend again in new infections, with Tokyo continuing to see a steady number of cases while other parts of the country, such as the northernmost main island Hokkaido, are seeing an uptick. Japan had 3.21 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in one week from Oct. 20, up from 2.84 in the week from Oct. 6, according to the health ministry. Japan has fared much better than the worst-hit parts of the world such as the United States, which has seen more than 8.8 million confirmed cases. Europe has also been battered, with France and Germany both announcing Wednesday that they are going into lockdown amid an onslaught of infections. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Japan's cumulative total of cases ranked 49th in the world. People walk in Tokyo's Shibuya area on Oct. 29, 2020, while wearing face masks amid unabated coronavirus infections. Japan's cumulative total of confirmed novel coronavirus cases topped 100,000 the same day, amid a recent uptick in the number of new infections coinciding with a resumption in economic activity. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo But Japan is worse off than neighbors such as South Korea and Taiwan, which acted quickly to restrict travel and stamp out clusters. The milestone of 100,000 confirmed cases comes as the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is considering extending its domestic travel subsidy program in an effort to prop up the world's third-largest economy, which saw a record contraction in the April-June quarter. The "Go To Travel" campaign was launched in most parts of Japan in late July and was initially set to expire at the end of January. The later addition of Tokyo, which has reported more than 30,000 coronavirus cases in total, may have contributed to the nationwide increase in infections. "We believe it is possible to continue social and economic activity by taking effective measures to keep the number of serious cases and deaths to a minimum," Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Naoki Okada said at a press conference on Thursday. Japan is bracing for the flu season, which coupled with the COVID-19 outbreak could put a strain on the medical system. Suga has vowed to support hospitals while aiming to procure enough coronavirus vaccine for the country's entire population by the first half of 2021.    

Coronavirus outbreak latest: Oct. 30, 2020

1 hour ago | KYODO NEWS


Takeda to supply 50 mil. coronavirus vaccine doses in Japan in 2021

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS


Gymnastics: Olympic men's champ Uchimura tests positive for coronavirus

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS


France, Germany to reimpose lockdowns to contain virus spread

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS


India's coronavirus cases surpass 8 million mark

Oct 29, 2020 | KYODO NEWS

Partners