Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
- The Tokyo metropolitan government raised its COVID-19 alert to the second-highest of four levels Thursday amid a continuous rise in coronavirus infections for two consecutive weeks.
- A Japanese court dismissed Thursday a damages lawsuit arguing the government's blanket exclusion of the sex industry from a cash handout program for pandemic-hit small companies violates the right to equality guaranteed under the Constitution.
- With China sticking to its radical "zero-COVID" policy, citizens in Beijing are worried that a window may suddenly pop up on the smartphone app designed for the Communist-led government to collect personal health information.
<June 29, 2022>
- Flights between the capitals of South Korea and Japan resumed Wednesday after being suspended for more than two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
<June 27, 2022>
- More than a month has passed since the Japanese government relaxed its guidance on mask usage to reflect subsiding fears of the coronavirus, yet its call for removing masks whenever possible has not caught on widely among the public.
<June 22, 2022>
- U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. on Wednesday applied to Japan's health ministry for approval of its COVID-19 booster shots for children aged 5 to 11.
- The pandemic fund being prepared by the Group of 20 major economies to deal with future pandemics may start operating by the end of this month, the forum's current chair Indonesia said Tuesday after its gathering in Yogyakarta, an ancient city in central Java.
<June 20, 2022>
- Three more regional airports in Japan will reopen for international flights in July as the nation further eases COVID-19 border controls, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday.
<June 17, 2022>
- U.S. regulators on Friday authorized the emergency use of coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. to include children as young as 6 months old.
- More than 1,300 people have applied to travel to Japan on guided tours since the country restarted visa procedures to accept some leisure visitors from abroad a week ago as worries about the COVID-19 pandemic wane, a government agency said Friday.
- Thailand said Friday it will revoke pass registration and required coronavirus insurance for all people arriving in the Southeast Asian country on July 1.
<June 16, 2022>
- North Korea on Thursday reported an outbreak of another infectious disease at home, while the country has been struggling to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
<June 15, 2022>
- Japan will create an entity for infectious disease experts similar to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and bolster its crisis response, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday.
<June 13, 2022>
- As Japan resumed visa procedures to accept foreign tourists last week, travel companies have been thrown into confusion over the lack of communication regarding entry procedures and last-minute COVID-19 guidelines.
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)