Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
- Japan received an estimated 8,700 foreign travelers in August, down 99.7 percent from a year earlier, amid the coronavirus pandemic, though showing a month-on-month pickup in volume, government data showed Friday.
- A member of the House of Representatives has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and been admitted to a hospital, the lower house's secretariat said Friday, the first confirmed infection of a Japanese lawmaker.
- The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed the 30 million mark on Friday, with some 940,000 deaths for a mortality rate of around 3 percent, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
- Japanese travel agencies and hotels began Friday accepting reservations for trips to and from Tokyo starting Oct. 1 under the government's subsidy program, which was launched in July excluding the capital due to a spike in coronavirus cases there.
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17 (Japan time)
- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday warned that an anti-government rally planned for this weekend in Bangkok could spark a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand and urged it be called off.
- The Bank of Japan left its ultraloose monetary policy unchanged Thursday to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Governor Haruhiko Kuroda expected to announce the central bank will closely cooperate with new prime minister Yoshihide Suga.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve indicated Wednesday that interest rates will be kept near zero at least through 2023 to support the fragile economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic lingers, while committing to a recently unveiled strategy seeking to push inflation above its long-term goal of 2 percent.
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"