As of 9:50 p.m., Thursday, March 18
- The government has agreed to allow professional athletes and coaches, including those with pro baseball and soccer teams, to enter Japan provided they undergo strict anti-virus measures, a source with knowledge of the matter said Thursday.
- The Japanese government formally decided Thursday to end the COVID-19 state of emergency in the Tokyo region on Sunday as planned as infections have declined from their peak and the strain on hospitals has eased.
- Tanzanian President John Magufuli died of heart disease, the Eastern African country said Wednesday, despite speculation that he had contracted the novel coronavirus. He was 61.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, March 17
- Japan said Wednesday it will tighten border controls on travelers from seven additional countries, mainly from Europe, in response to the spread of new variants of the novel coronavirus detected in the states.
- The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in February fell 99.3 percent from a year earlier to 7,400 due to reintroduced travel restrictions on business travelers amid a surge in coronavirus cases, government data showed Wednesday.
- The government plans to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency covering the Tokyo metropolitan area as scheduled on Sunday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.
- Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and other major Japanese manufacturers offered pay hikes at annual wage negotiations Wednesday, but the pace of wage growth across all sectors is expected to slow this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- As Japan prepares to expand the scope of its coronavirus vaccine rollout to the entire population, 62.1 percent of people expressed a willingness to receive a shot, a recent online survey by a Tokyo-based medical school has shown.
- Australia said Wednesday it will send 8,000 doses of AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine from its own supply to Papua New Guinea to help the Pacific island nation combat a spike in coronavirus cases.
- The Philippines will ban foreigners and returning citizens except overseas workers from entering the country for a month from Saturday until April 19 amid increasing coronavirus cases, the government 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"
- 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"