As of 10 p.m., Thursday, April 1
- The mayor of Osaka said Thursday the Tokyo Olympic torch relay section due to be held in the western Japan city later this month should be canceled due to a sharp rebound in coronavirus infections.
- The Japanese government on Thursday designated Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures for stronger measures against COVID-19 amid a sharp resurgence in infections.
- Japan's health ministry on Thursday began a multilingual service at its call center for those who want to inquire about the effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine and its possible side effects.
- Osaka Prefecture confirmed 616 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest level in over two months amid rising concerns about a resurgence of infections in the western Japan prefecture and elsewhere in the country.
- Sentiment among major Japanese manufacturers turned positive for the first time in six quarters in March, recovering to a pre-pandemic level amid growing expectations for an economic recovery, the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey showed Thursday.
- Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday its COVID-19 vaccine was 100 percent effective against the novel coronavirus in children between the ages of 12 and 15, and it will seek emergency use authorization in the United States for the age group in the coming weeks.
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, March 31
- All Nippon Airways Co. began providing a luxury dining experience Wednesday aboard a parked airplane in a bid to utilize its idled aircraft as travel demand has evaporated due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura asked the central government Wednesday to designate the prefecture's capital as an area that needs stronger anti-virus measures based on a law following a sharp rebound in coronavirus infections.
- China on Wednesday criticized 14 countries, including Japan and the United States, for "politicizing" the origins of the novel coronavirus after they voiced concerns over a joint probe conducted by the World Health Organization and Beijing in a Chinese city.
- China said Wednesday that a border city with Myanmar has been locked down, as nine people, including Myanmar nationals, have been newly confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus.
- Japanese medical equipment maker Terumo Corp. on Wednesday began production of syringes that can yield seven shots per vial of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.
- Japanese shipping and logistics firm NYK Line is planning to build the largest Japanese cruise ship, aiming for completion in 2025 to meet an expected post-pandemic recovery in travel demand, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
- Universal Studios Japan in the western city of Osaka marked its 20th anniversary Wednesday, but without any large-scale events to celebrate the occasion due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said Tuesday that Japan's economic recovery will not be derailed by staging the Tokyo Olympics without overseas spectators, while hailing the country's "strong response" to the coronavirus pandemic.
- A joint study conducted by the World Health Organization and China on the origins of the novel coronavirus concluded it is "extremely unlikely" the virus escaped from a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, according to the report released 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"