Here are the latest updates from Japan and beyond on the coronavirus outbreak:
As of 11 p.m., Wednesday, June 16
- The Japanese government plans to end the COVID-19 state of emergency covering Tokyo and eight other prefectures on Sunday as scheduled, while Okinawa will remain under the restrictions until mid-July, sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
- Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday set the goal of fully reopening the country to foreign visitors within 120 days to pave the way for economic recovery, despite worries over the risk of new coronavirus infections.
- The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in May was down 99.6 percent from the pre-pandemic year of 2019 as a result of tougher travel restrictions to prevent the spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants, government data showed Wednesday.
- Japan's parliament wrapped up a 150-day ordinary session on Wednesday after the ruling coalition rejected calls from the opposition for a three-month extension to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan's exports in May jumped 49.6 percent from a year ago to post the sharpest rise in over four decades, with their rebound from a coronavirus pandemic-induced downturn driven by solid demand for cars and auto parts, government data showed Wednesday.
As of 11 p.m., Tuesday, June 15
- Japan plans to move forward on a proposal that will allow up to 10,000 spectators or 50 percent of a venue's capacity, whichever is smaller, at events in July and August should the current state of emergency and other COVID-19 measures be lifted, government sources said Tuesday.
- A regional political party affiliated with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said Tuesday this summer's Olympics and Paralympics should be held without spectators due to concerns over the coronavirus infections.
- Foreign athletes competing at this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could be kicked out of Japan if they violate regulations aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infections, according to a rule book released Tuesday
- Japan's state-run mass coronavirus vaccination centers will start inoculating people aged between 18 and 64 on Thursday in an expanded drive to fill in vacant slots, the ministry in charge of operations said Tuesday.
- Japan's ruling coalition voted down a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's Cabinet in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, deflecting criticism over the government's COVID-19 response and plans to push ahead with the Tokyo Olympics.
- The Japanese government adopted a policy Tuesday to strengthen support for foreign residents who may face hurdles in getting coronavirus vaccinations, together with local municipalities.
- The Japanese government has agreed to receive from U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. COVID-19 vaccine doses for an additional 20,000 workers involved in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said Tuesday.
- Japan will donate one million coronavirus vaccine doses to Vietnam on Wednesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday.
- A protest was staged in Tokyo on Monday, a day before International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates' scheduled arrival in Japan, to oppose the hosting of this summer's Olympics and Paralympics amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"