Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11:00 p.m., Thursday, March 26 (Japan time)
- Japan will impose an entry ban on foreign travelers coming from 21 European countries and Iran as part of stronger measures to contain the new coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.
- Japan's approach to social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic might seem to other nations around the world like it is very social, and not so distant
- Hundreds of Japanese nationals are currently stranded overseas due to travel restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
- The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics is likely to delay the handover of converted condominiums at the athletes village, leaving the developers and future residents with many questions.
- The organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics established a task force to deal with the postponement of the Summer Games due to the coronavirus pandemic and held its first meeting on Thursday.
- Athletes and sports organizations around the world have largely welcomed the decision by the Japanese government and International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Games for around a year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- More office workers in Tokyo shifted to teleworking while many people stocked up on daily necessities on Thursday after Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike requested the capital's residents to avoid nonessential outings in the wake of a spike in the number of new coronavirus infections.
- Now that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are postponed until next year, concerns are growing about whether small and midsize businesses in the tourism and service industries can weather the coronavirus shockwave until the events are held next year, economists and analysts say.
- A government panel of experts on Thursday said new-coronavirus infections in Japan appear highly likely to be "rampant," an assessment paving the way for the launch of a national headquarters to better respond to the outbreak.
- Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations on Wednesday reaffirmed their cooperation in tackling the global coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said.
- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday stepped up pressure against China for engaging in a "disinformation campaign" over the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the Group of Seven industrialized countries are all "deeply aware" of such activities.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, March 25 (Japan time)
- Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Wednesday requested that people refrain from going outside this weekend for nonessential reasons, due to concerns over a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus infections in the Japanese capital
- Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies will hold an emergency teleconference on Thursday to discuss a coordinated global response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to its host Saudi Arabia
- There was a mixed reaction Wednesday to news the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed for up to a year, with some welcoming what was seen as an inevitable decision while others said cancellation was the best option with costs already ballooning.
- The J-League, Japan's pro soccer establishment, plans to resume first-division matches on May 9 after a hiatus of more than two months due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, chairman Mitsuru Murai said Wednesday.
- Japanese athletes affected by the overnight announcement of the Olympics and Paralympics being postponed until next year have overwhelmingly voiced their support for the news.
- Veteran comedian Ken Shimura has tested positive for the new coronavirus, his agency said Wednesday, making him the first Japanese entertainment figure to announce their infection publically.
- U.S. President Donald Trump told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during phone talks on Wednesday that a roughly one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics was a "wise and great" decision, the top Japanese government spokesman said.
- The postponement of this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, an unprecedented response to the global coronavirus pandemic, throws a wrench into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's political calculus heading into the final stretch of his tenure.
(Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike at a press conference in Tokyo on March 25, 2020.)
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Japan National Tourism Organization's "Guide for when you are feeling ill"
- Multilingual clinic/hospital search available in English, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
- JNTO's "Japan Visitor Hotline"
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese 24 hours a day
+81-50-3816-2787 (from overseas)
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's hotline
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Available via fax for those with hearing impairments
- Japan's health ministry hotline
- Available in Japanese only, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- World Health Organization's "Q&A on coronaviruses"