- Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish on Friday joined a growing chorus of Major League Baseball stars expressing resentment about possibly being asked to work in unsafe conditions while the new coronavirus pandemic rages.
- The Japan Rugby Football Union said Friday the Brave Blossoms' summer test matches against Wales and England will be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Kyoto's Aoi Matsuri, one of the city's three main festivals, was held Friday on a scaled-down basis, with the colorful procession that has been a major tourist attraction canceled amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- Women undergoing fertility treatment in Japan have been forced to make difficult decisions after a medical oversight body called for a postponement of procedures while the coronavirus pandemic rages, intensifying their race against time to become pregnant.
- Japan will test around 10,000 people for coronavirus antibodies starting from next month, as part of efforts to better understand the deadly infection, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Friday.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday unveiled an outline of a road map to ease measures aimed at overcoming the spread of the new coronavirus in the capital. The numerical targets include seeing fewer than 20 new daily cases of COVID-19, Koike said at a press conference.
- Japan's public broadcaster NHK will temporarily halt the broadcast of two of its long-running and popular programs in June, a morning 15-minute drama known as "Asadora" and a period drama, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Okinawa marked on Friday the 48th anniversary of its reversion to Japan from U.S. control, as protests over the burden of hosting American military facilities on the southern Japanese island were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan's blanket cash handouts to help individuals weather the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak have drawn a barrage of criticism from the public, with the ruling party accused of sending mixed messages and some of those in urgent need of the money expressing frustration at the application process.
- Organizers of the National High School Baseball Championship are mulling the possibility of canceling this summer's tournament in light of the novel coronavirus pandemic situation, a source familiar with the matter said Friday.
- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach on Thursday said his body is preparing to spend up to $800 million for extra costs necessitated by the one-year postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
- Osaka Prefecture said Thursday it will remove part of its business suspension requests from Saturday, even as it remains under the state of emergency put in place by the central government.
- The number of foreign visitors to Japan in April tumbled 99 percent from a year earlier to 1,256 as the country tightened border controls in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, immigration authorities said Thursday.
- Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies pledged Thursday to ensure that any export curbs on key resources needed to fight the novel coronavirus are lifted as soon as possible.
- Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League said Thursday its teams can admit up to 2,000 fans to games from Friday while most of the world's sports remain idled by the new coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan's entry ban to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus will be expanded to include Mexico and 12 other countries, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.
- Japan's partial lifting of a state of emergency appears to suggest that its approach to fighting the novel coronavirus based on requests for cooperation rather than a hard lockdown has so far paid off.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday lifted a state of emergency for 39 of the country's 47 prefectures ahead of its planned expiration at the end of the month, as the spread of the novel coronavirus in these areas has been kept in check.
- Face masks embroidered with traditional designs of Japan's indigenous Ainu people to ward off evil have gained sudden popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic after the country's top government spokesman wore one in a televised press conference.
- The novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic can be transmitted between domestic cats even though infected cats may not show any symptoms, according to a research team working in the Japanese capital and Wisconsin.
- With the global sports calendar largely on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, professional athletes are showing fans their skills are to some extent transferrable to the virtual world.
- The U.S. government on Wednesday issued a warning to research organizations in the country that their data related to vaccine and treatments of the novel coronavirus may be targeted by hackers affiliated with the Chinese government.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's "Tokyo Coronavirus Support Center for Foreign Residents (TOCOS)" multilingual hotline
- Available in Simple Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepali, Indonesian, Tagalog, Thai, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Khmer, and Burmese, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays except national holidays.
0120-296-004 (toll free)
- AMDA Medical Information Center's "Multilingual Consultation Service Regarding COVID-19"
(April 10~May 20, 2020)
- Available in English, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and national holidays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Spanish, Vietnamese and Portuguese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- Available in English and Chinese on weekdays only, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government's COVID-19 info
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government hotline
- Available in English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Available via fax for those with hearing impairments
- 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)
- Japan's health ministry hotline
- Available in Japanese only, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- World Health Organization's "Q&A on coronaviruses"