Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, June 19 (Japan time)
- A total of 39 of Japan's 47 prefectures are offering or plan to offer customers discounts for staying at their hotels and inns to help spur demand that has fallen due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Kyodo News survey found Friday.
- The Japanese government launched Friday a free smartphone application which alerts users they may have been in close proximity to someone infected with the coronavirus.
- Fast Retailing Co. began selling Friday its washable and fast-drying face masks at its Uniqlo stores in Japan amid concerns about the novel coronavirus, with shoppers forming a long queue at one of its stores in the upscale Ginza shopping district.
- Low-cost carrier Peach Aviation Ltd. resumed services on all 22 domestic routes on Friday, as Japan lifted the last remaining travel restrictions after claiming to have checked the spread of coronavirus.
- Over half of young adults in Japan said they felt there was a gap between the learning opportunities they had access to compared with those of other students in the wake of school closures caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a recent survey.
- Many Japanese companies have already shifted to online interviews and seminars for recruiting new employees due to the coronavirus pandemic, but some have gone a step further by testing artificial intelligence to efficiently hire talent.
- Japan will likely ease travel restrictions on Thailand and Vietnam before Australia and New Zealand, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday.
- Japan Airlines Co. President Yuji Akasaka said the company hopes to raise 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) to secure its financial standing as demand for air travel has been severely reduced during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan lifted its final restrictions on cross-prefecture travel on Friday, as the government said it believes the spread of novel coronavirus has been kept in check.
- Tokyo lifted all restrictions on businesses on Friday amid signs that the coronavirus pandemic is waning in the Japanese capital, although concerns remain over a potential second wave of infections.
- As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finds himself bogged down in another political scandal, some observers believe it could prove to be a decisive turning point in his premiership.
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, June 18 (Japan time)
- The J-League made final preparations Thursday to test all of its players for the coronavirus before they begin returning to the pitch later this month.
- Japan is in talks to make exceptions to its entry ban on Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, as it seeks to ease travel restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday.
- Beijing municipal authorities said Thursday more than 150 coronavirus infections have been discovered over a one-week period since the detection of a cluster at the city's biggest wholesale market.
- Campaigning for the Tokyo gubernatorial election officially kicked off Thursday amid a recent rise in coronavirus infections in the Japanese capital, with incumbent Gov. Yuriko Koike expected to face approximately 20 challengers.
- A clinical test of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus developed by medical startup Anges Inc. will start June 30 in Japan, Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said Wednesday, envisioning to put it into practice next year.
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"