Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11:30 p.m., Friday, May 22 (Japan time)
- The possibility of Japan's government lifting a state of emergency in Tokyo and nearby prefectures, as well as Hokkaido, altogether next Monday is rising, as the number of new coronavirus cases has been declining, officials said Friday.
- Haruki Murakami, one of Japan's best-known novelists, hit the airwaves Friday night, encouraging radio listeners across the country through his talk and by playing his favorite songs amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic that has forced people to limit social interaction.
- Nippon Professional Baseball and soccer's J-League should consider playing games without fans, a panel of experts recommended to Japan's biggest pro sports bodies when they met Friday for their eighth online summit regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
- Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said Friday it is on course to supply the anti-influenza drug Avigan for 2 million COVID-19 patients by next March, meeting a target set by the Japanese government to ramp up production of the potential treatment for the new coronavirus.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government reported three new coronavirus infections in the capital on Friday, the lowest since Japan declared a state of emergency last month.
- Japan has raised its travel advisory for 11 countries including Argentina, India and South Africa, to Level 3, urging against any trips to the areas during the global coronavirus pandemic, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday.
- Nissan Motor Co. is looking to cut over 20,000 jobs or about 15 percent of its global workforce as part of its restructuring plan due to slumping sales hit by the new coronavirus outbreak, sources close to the matter said Friday.
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres by phone on Friday that Japan will work closely with the international body and related agencies to cope with the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
- International Olympic Committee senior official John Coates said the postponed Tokyo Games might not go ahead in July 2021, even with the development of a coronavirus vaccine, Australian media reported Thursday.
- China on Friday abandoned setting an economic growth target for 2020, citing "great uncertainty" over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world's second-largest economy.
- Japan will start testing 10,000 people in Tokyo, Osaka and the northeastern prefecture of Miyagi for antibodies of the coronavirus from early June as part of efforts to better understand its spread, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Friday.
- The Bank of Japan decided Friday to provide a further 30 trillion yen ($278 billion) as a step to pump money until the end of March 2021 into a broader range of small and medium-sized companies hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- Speaking at her inauguration on May 20, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen praised the island's success in combating COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus which continues to ravage much of the world.
- The Japanese government has set an additional criteria for foreign students hoping to receiving cash handouts of up to 200,000 yen ($1,900) for students in the country struggling financially amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, making only those in the top 30 percent of grades eligible.
- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday lifted the state of emergency in the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo, as the spread of the novel coronavirus has slowed enough to justify the gradual easing of curbs on economic activity.
- China is expected to be forced to place more emphasis on taking measures to maintain employment than on pursuing economic growth, at least this year, given that the coronavirus pandemic has eroded corporate profits.
- Nearly 10,000 people have lost their jobs in Japan since February with the economic slump brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the labor ministry said Thursday, raising concerns over more job losses.
- The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan said Thursday it removed a parody of the Tokyo Olympic emblem depicting the novel coronavirus published on the cover of its magazine after receiving strong criticism from the games' organizers.
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"