- New Zealand on Wednesday lifted its state of national emergency, with the government citing the decreasing numbers of new COVID-19 cases.
Toshio Suzuki, a producer of Studio Ghibli, deftly draws Totoro, one of the most beloved anime characters in the world, as part of a project by his hometown Nagoya to keep schoolchildren entertained while stuck at home during the state of emergency in Japan amid the coronavirus epidemic.
- Reusable cloth masks that are cooled and sold in vending machines are proving popular in northeastern Japan amid growing fears that wearing masks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the summer could cause breathing difficulties.
- The Japanese government is considering adding Aichi, Kyoto and Fukuoka to the list of areas set to see a lifting of the state of emergency declared over the novel coronavirus pandemic, possibly allowing people in 39 of the country's 47 prefectures to live with fewer constraints, officials said Wednesday.
- The Federation of Inochi no Denwa, comprised of some 50 suicide prevention organizations employing some 6,000 counselors across Japan, said the number of incoming calls its members have received has soared since the government declared a state of emergency last month urging people to avoid physical contact as much as possible.
- A sumo wrestler from the sport's fourth tier, died early Wednesday morning due to multiple organ failure caused by the novel coronavirus, the sport's body said. He was 28.
- A group of about 20 restaurants in Yokohama's Chinatown started a drive-through service Wednesday as part of efforts to retain customers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- The Japanese government approved on Wednesday test kits that can detect novel coronavirus antigens in 15 to 30 minutes, in the hope of improving its testing regime amid growing demand for a simpler and faster method.
- The actual death toll from the new coronavirus in the United States is "almost certainly" higher than the officially reported figure of around 80,000, as some people could have died without going to the hospital, the nation's top expert on infectious diseases said Tuesday.
- A home delivery service of irregularly shaped fruits has become a huge success following its launch late last month by a company seeking to make up for lost business at its sightseeing orchard in northeastern Japan amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan on Tuesday raised its travel alert for 13 countries to its second-highest level, warning against any trips to these areas as new coronavirus infections continue to spread globally.
- Wuhan, the original epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, has decided to test all of its citizens, as an infection cluster recently cropped up for the first time since its 76-day lockdown was lifted in April, Chinese media reported Tuesday.
- The number of cosmetic surgery applications in Japan has recently increased and this has worried many medical professionals who have asked people to "refrain from nonessential treatments" to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
- The Immigration Services Agency of Japan said Tuesday it will give foreigners with periods of stay expiring in July a three-month extension to renew, in a bid to alleviate congestion at immigration counters amid the coronavirus outbreak.
- Around 70 percent of some 100 nonprofit groups and individuals offering educational support to children of foreign descent across Japan have stopped or cut back on their operations amid the coronavirus epidemic, an online poll showed.
- U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday shrugged off concerns the new coronavirus could widely spread inside the White House after two staff members were found to have been infected last week.
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"