As of 11 p.m., Friday, April 2
- Japan's failure to sufficiently stem the spread of the coronavirus under a state of emergency has led to an unexpectedly sharp rise in the number of new cases in Osaka, forcing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to designate the western prefecture and two other areas for stricter measures against COVID-19.
- As Japan's foodservice industry tries to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic, some restaurants have been looking to the start of the day to make up for revenue lost in curtailed evening trade, offering popular lunch and dinner items in a new breakfast service.
- Restaurant and hotel operators in Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi prefectures expressed disappointment Thursday after the government designated the areas for stronger measures against growing COVID-19 cases, hoping the measures will not be prolonged.
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.
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"