Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11:45 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 9 (Japan time)
- The Tokyo metropolitan government is making final arrangements to end its policy of asking establishments serving alcohol in the capital's central 23 wards to close by 10 p.m., as the number of coronavirus cases has been trending downward in recent days, a source familiar with the situation said Wednesday.
- Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi pledged Wednesday to disburse $1 million in a new fund aimed at assisting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' response to the novel coronavirus pandemic through the procurement of medical supplies and the development of vaccines.
- Japan will consider raising the upper limit for the number of spectators at sports, concerts and other events to up to 20,000 from the current 5,000, as coronavirus cases have been moderating recently, a senior government official said Wednesday.
- Global clinical trials of an experimental vaccine developed with the University of Oxford has been halted, British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc said Tuesday, citing "a potentially unexplained illness" in one of its volunteer participants.
- Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said Wednesday the Japanese capital should host the postponed Summer Olympics "by all means" next year by taking thorough measures against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- With many businesses floundering due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore is trying to speed up the re-entry into the workforce of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who have been under lockdown for months in their dormitories to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- North Korea on Wednesday marked the 72nd anniversary of its founding, at a time when the nation's economy has been apparently languishing against a backdrop of the aftermath of the new coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8 (Japan time)
- Hong Kong will further relax social distancing measures, including reopening theme parks and allowing exhibitions and conventions, should the coronavirus situation continue to stabilize, the city's health secretary said Tuesday while announcing relaxation of rules by the end of the week.
- Japan's domestic travel subsidy program, launched in July to help revive tourism within the country hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, will cover half of travelers' costs from October, up from the current 35 percent, tourism minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said Tuesday.
- Japan's professional baseball and football leagues submitted a joint request to the government on Tuesday asking to ease the 5,000-spectator cap at games amid signs that coronavirus infections are decreasing nationwide.
- Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto said Tuesday she believes the postponed Tokyo Games should be held next year "at any cost" in consideration of the preparations being made by athletes and others involved with the tournament.
- Japan plans to relax a rule limiting the size of crowds at professional sports, concerts and other events later this month amid signs that coronavirus cases are decreasing nationwide, government sources have said.
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"
- Available in Simple Japanese and English, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Also available in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese on designated weekdays. Check schedule here.
- 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"