Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
- 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.
- A biotechnology startup in Japan's Fukuoka Prefecture is partnering with local authorities in an effort to develop a drug to treat COVID-19 using its RNA technology.
- International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Wednesday he accepts that the coronavirus-hit Tokyo Games will have to be canceled if they cannot be held in 2021.
- U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested rescheduling the Group of Seven summit in the Washington area, after having canceled an in-person meeting planned in June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Up to 3.01 million jobs in Japan could be lost due to the new coronavirus pandemic in the year through next March, an impact more serious than the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, a research institute said Wednesday.
- The number of foreign visitors to Japan sank 99.9 percent in April from a year earlier amid the global coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Wednesday.
- Local organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have strongly criticized the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan for publishing a parody image combining the games logo with a coronavirus particle on the cover of its monthly magazine.
- Japan's summer high school baseball tournament will be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, a source within the Japan High School Baseball Federation revealed Wednesday.
- Complaints between neighbors over noise have been on the rise in Tokyo of late, even leading to a murder case, as many people are frustrated at being compelled to stay home for an extensive period to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- Avigan, a candidate drug for treating novel coronavirus infections, has not shown apparent efficacy in treating the respiratory disease in clinical trials so far, raising doubts about its approval by the end of this month as sought by the Japanese government, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
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"