Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
As of 11 p.m., Friday, Jan. 7
- Public facilities in Tokyo, including the popular Ueno Zoological Gardens, will be temporarily closed from next Tuesday amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections, the metropolitan government said Friday.
- The Japanese government is set to allow China and Saudi Arabia's men's soccer teams to enter the country for their 2022 World Cup final Asian qualifying matches through early February, a source close to the matter said Friday.
- Japan decided Friday to place three prefectures with surging COVID-19 cases under a quasi-state of emergency as their governors suspect the viral resurgences have started from U.S. military bases there, while the nationwide tally of infections for the day hit a four-month high of more than 6,000.
As of 11 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 6
- An online petition demanding that Japan ease its tight entry rules to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was submitted to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday with about 12,000 signatures, a civic group said.
- Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday the government plans to declare a quasi-state of emergency for Okinawa, Yamaguchi and Hiroshima prefectures, as requested by their governors who attributed surging COVID-19 cases to the spread of the Omicron strain at U.S. military bases.
- Tokyo on Thursday reported 641 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily tally since Sept. 18, as Japan entered its sixth wave of infections with a sharp rebound in cases amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
- Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki said Thursday the number of daily coronavirus cases in the prefecture is expected to rise sharply to around 980 from 623 cases confirmed the previous day.
- Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has been denied entry to Australia after failing to provide appropriate evidence he qualifies for a coronavirus vaccination exemption required as part of the country's entry rules, the Australian Border Force said Thursday.
- Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Thursday asked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to impose curfews on U.S. bases in Japan, following a recent surge of coronavirus infections among American military personnel, the Japanese government said.
- COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged between 5 and 11 may begin February in Japan, but many parents and caregivers are still debating whether they should inoculate young ones due to worries over effects on their health.
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)