Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<May 27, 2022>
- The sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated with a vibrant display of Australia's First Nations culture on Friday, as the city welcomed the return of the Vivid Sydney light festival for the first time since 2019.
- Japan will ask foreign tourists to wear face masks and follow other precautions against COVID-19 when they visit the country, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday.
<May 26, 2022>
- Japan will resume accepting foreign tourists from June 10, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday, as the country continues to ease its COVID-19 border controls.
<May 25, 2022>
- The Japanese government is making final arrangements to resume accepting foreign tourists in June, further relaxing its border controls imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.
- Two Japanese living in Shanghai died during the lockdown of the Chinese city that began in late March amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Japanese government said Wednesday, but the causes are unknown.
- Japan began offering fourth coronavirus vaccine shots Wednesday to older people, and those with underlying medical conditions.
- The government said in a monthly report Wednesday that the Japanese economy is recovering from the pandemic, with the word "coronavirus" not included in its assessment for the first time in more than two years.
- Japan came out ranking highest on a list of destinations in a 2021 travel and tourism development report by the World Economic Forum, despite the country being closed to foreign tourists due to restrictions against the coronavirus.
<May 24, 2022>
- Seven people from the United States arrived in Japan Tuesday as part of the first small-scale test tours in the government's planned gradual reopening to inbound tourists from June.
- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday that China had reached out to congratulate him on his appointment, despite recent bilateral tensions after Canberra called for an inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus.
- A western Japanese town that mistakenly sent 46.3 million yen ($363,000) in COVID-19 relief money to a resident has legally recovered about 43 million yen, or about 90 percent of it, the mayor said Tuesday.
- Japanese business circles, particularly those in the tourism sector, are unsettled by what appears to be overly cautious government policy toward resuming tourism from abroad as the Asian country's economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
<May 23, 2022>
- Over 35 million yen has been returned to a local government in western Japan that mistakenly sent 46.3 million yen ($363,000) in COVID-19 relief money to a single resident, a source close to the case said Monday.
<May 22, 2022>
- Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi suggested Sunday that the government may need to consider assisting North Korea as it apparently struggles with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
<May 21, 2022>
- The leaders of Japan, Australia, India and the United States will agree to step up the provision of COVID-19 vaccines to the international community, when they hold a summit meeting next week, a Foreign Ministry official said Saturday.
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - May 21~27
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)