Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Monday, Jan. 24
- Japan's largest business lobby on Monday called on the government to lift the entry ban on nonresident foreigners aimed at keeping the Omicron variant of the coronavirus at bay and preventing its spread now that domestic infections are mostly being caused by the highly transmissible strain.
- The first positive case of COVID-19 has been detected among delegations for the Beijing Winter Olympics, the organizing committee said Monday, about 10 days before the opening of the games.
- A record 327 day-care centers have been temporarily shut down in Japan as the coronavirus resurgence grips the country, the health ministry said Monday.
- Japan will expand a quasi-state of emergency to over 30 of the country's 47 prefectures to curb the rapid spread of coronavirus infections after 16 more prefectures asked to be included under the measure, senior government officials said Monday.
- China's authorities have decided to phase out a one-month COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in the central city of Xian from Monday, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported, around 10 days ahead of the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
- Sayuri Oyamada, a Japanese film and television actress based in New York City for the past decade, has used the slowdown in filming caused by the coronavirus pandemic to build a local business selling "onigiri" rice balls made with innovative combinations of traditional and American ingredients.
As of 10:20 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 23
- The government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to place more prefectures under a COVID-19 quasi-state of emergency as the number of cases continues surging, government sources said Sunday.
- The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stood at 55.9 percent, down 4.1 points from the previous survey in December, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday, as Japan grapples with recent surges in COVID-19 infections driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
- NEC Corp. will start providing a coating service for business operators from late February to counteract the coronavirus on personal computers.
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)