Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<May 18, 2022>
- The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in April was down 95.2 percent from the same month in the prepandemic year of 2019 to 139,500 people, government data showed Wednesday, as the country moves toward accepting small-scale tours next week at the earliest.
- A man in western Japan who received 46.3 million yen ($358,000) in COVID-19 relief money from his town by mistake before gambling it all away is now contrite and wants to pay it back "little by little," according to a person familiar with the case.
<May 17, 2022>
- A 24-year-old man mistakenly sent 46.3 million yen ($360,000) in COVID-19 relief money by the western Japan town he resides in, says he gambled it all away on overseas casino sites, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
- Japan will accept small-scale tours for vaccinated tourists from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore as a trial later this month toward the full-scale reception of foreign visitors planned for June, the government said Tuesday.
- North Korea on Tuesday reported more than 269,500 new cases of fever and six more deaths in the past day as suspected coronavirus cases continue to spread rapidly in the country.
<May 16, 2022>
- South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday reiterated a willingness to support North Korea with necessary medical supplies and medicines to help it battle its ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has strongly criticized his Cabinet for not providing medicines to citizens according to their needs, state-run media reported Monday, as suspected coronavirus cases continue to explode in the country.
<May 15, 2022>
- North Korea said Sunday more than 296,000 people have begun showing signs of fever in the past day as it scrambles to curb the spread of the coronavirus through a nationwide lockdown.
<May 14, 2022>
- China has pulled out of hosting next year's Asian Cup due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation said Saturday.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has described the spread of the novel coronavirus as the greatest turmoil facing the country since it was founded, state-run media reported Saturday.
<May 13, 2022>
- The Tokyo metropolitan government said Friday it has postponed "returning" a popular female offspring of a giant panda couple on loan from China for another six months until year-end due to transportation difficulties amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- A Chinese woman has been accused of spreading false rumors and held by authorities for posting a message online saying Beijing would soon come under a citywide COVID-19 lockdown, Chinese media reported Friday.
- At least one person has died and around 187,800 people are being quarantined in North Korea due to the novel coronavirus, state-run media reported Friday.
- Japan will assist developing nations with their anti-coronavirus steps with cumulative assistance worth $5 billion, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday during a global summit aimed at galvanizing efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
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)