As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23
- Questions have been raised over a smartphone app being developed to track potential foreign visitors' whereabouts during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid the coronavirus pandemic, due to its hefty cost and the amount of work left to do with five months to go.
- Japan is considering lifting the state of emergency declared in six prefectures over the coronavirus pandemic ahead of its scheduled end date on March 7, government sources said Tuesday.
- The distribution of vaccine doses against the novel coronavirus for the elderly in Japan expected to start in April will be in proportion to the population in each prefecture rather than the number of infections, a state minister said Tuesday.
- The total number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in the United States surpassed 500,000 on Monday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, as efforts to contain the pandemic continue more than a year after the first infection was confirmed in the country.
- Emperor Naruhito, on the occasion of his 61st birthday on Tuesday, said he felt thankful for the "perseverance and strength of the people" in Japan in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic and expressed appreciation for the medical professionals who have toiled through it.
As of 11 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22
- Aichi Prefecture said Monday it had asked the central government to be released from the coronavirus state of emergency before its scheduled end on March 7, while Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures also decided to make similar requests.
- Mongolian-born yokozuna Hakuho on Monday spoke of his frustration at missing the January Grand Sumo Tournament after contracting the novel coronavirus, while remaining hopeful of a memorable return at the upcoming March meet.
- A Japanese expert from the World Health Organization, who visited Wuhan earlier this month, voiced skepticism about China's insistence that the novel coronavirus had originally intruded into the country from abroad through a cold chain.
- Tokyo reported 178 new daily coronavirus infections Monday, the first time the count has fallen below 200 since Nov. 24 last year.
- The Japan Sumo Association imposed the second most severe punishment on stablemaster Tokitsukaze on Monday, recommending he retire for violating coronavirus protocols when he made nonurgent, nonessential outings during a basho
- Japan is considering introducing waiting lists for COVID-19 vaccinations to avoid waste, the minister in charge of inoculation effort said Sunday as the country prepares to expand the program's scope.
- Over 30 Japanese athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics, or are still vying for their spots, have yet to receive their international classifications due to the pandemic and potentially could be ruled out of competing this summer, Kyodo News learned Sunday.
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 10 p.m. (including weekends and holidays)
- 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"