Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, Oct. 22
- The Group of 20 major economies should lead global efforts to prepare for the next pandemic, the head of one of the organizations co-leading a body promoting global access to COVID vaccines has said, expecting their leaders to make progress to that end later this month in Rome.
- Tokyo confirmed 26 daily coronavirus cases Friday, the fewest since June 2020, as the downward trend in infections continues across Japan
- Residents of Australia's second-largest city Melbourne gathered at pubs and restaurants early Friday morning after it exited from a total of 262 days of lockdown, the longest cumulative period of stay-at-home orders in the world.
- Over 650 academics and students from universities in the United States, Japan, Britain and other countries on Thursday called on the Japanese government to resume issuing student and researcher visas, a process currently suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September, the first year-on-year gain in 18 months, pushed up by higher energy prices at a time when the economy remains fragile as a result of the spread of COVID-19, government data showed Friday.
- Thailand will allow travelers from a total of 46 countries including Japan to visit the country without a quarantine if they are fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, with the policy set to take effect Nov. 1, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha revealed Thursday on Facebook.
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21
- Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Co. said Thursday it expects to launch its COVID-19 vaccine in Japan by the end of 2022 after studies that started in March yielded positive results.
- Online tours in Japan arranged by travel vendors in an attempt to address restrictions on overseas travel amid the coronavirus pandemic are catching on among people looking for easy and inexpensive ways to experience a bit of the unusual.
- The Tokyo metropolitan government will lift restrictions on restaurants and bars over the coronavirus pandemic from Monday as the capital has seen a steady decline in the number of infections, officials said Thursday.
- A weak yen typically serves as a boon to the export-driven Japanese economy. But when combined with surging crude oil and raw material prices, it leaves the economy facing a double-whammy that is set to crimp the economic recovery from the pandemic.
- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is on course to retain its majority in the House of Representatives in the Oct. 31 general election, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted through Wednesday.
Useful resources for foreign residents and visitors in Japan
- Health ministry call center
COVID-19: 0120-565-653 (toll free)
COVID-19 Vaccines: 0120-761-770 (toll free)
-Interpreters available for English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; for Thai 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; for Vietnamese 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Health ministry's COVID-19 Vaccine Navigation website
- 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)