Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<July 26, 2022>
- The J-League announced a record-equaling 20 million yen ($146,000) fine for Urawa Reds on Tuesday after supporters of the first-division club were found to have repeatedly breached safety guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
- Japan's western prefecture of Osaka is set to raise its coronavirus alert to the highest of three levels, officials familiar with the plan said Tuesday, as the area's daily infection count hit a record 25,762 amid a fresh wave of COVID-19.
- The Japanese government on Tuesday upgraded its key economic assessment for the first time in three months, reflecting a recovery in personal consumption as economic activities continue to return to normal from coronavirus restrictions.
- A Japanese health ministry panel has awarded for the first time a lump sum compensation payment to the family of an elderly woman who died after suffering an allergic response and sudden heart attack related to a COVID-19 vaccination.
- U.S. President Joe Biden's COVID-19 symptoms have "almost completely resolved," his physician said Monday, signaling continuing improvement in the 79-year-old's health condition since he tested positive Thursday.
<July 25, 2022>
- Kyushu Railway Co., which serves the southwestern Japan region, said Monday it will temporarily suspend 120 limited express train services due to staff shortages caused by the spread of coronavirus infections among onboard crew.
<July 24, 2022>
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases stood at 176,554 on Sunday, according to a Kyodo News tally, ending a four-day streak of record highs amid a seventh wave of infections linked to the spread of the BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
<July 23, 2022>
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases topped 200,000 for the first time, according to a tally of new cases reported Saturday.
- Medical staff and elderly care workers in Tokyo began to receive their fourth COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday after the government expanded its eligibility criteria in response to Japan's seventh wave of infections.
- U.S. President Joe Biden's COVID-19 symptoms have improved since he started taking an antiviral drug, his physician Kevin O'Connor said Friday, a day after the 79-year-old tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
<July 22, 2022>
- Japan's daily coronavirus cases exceeded 190,000 on Friday, hitting a new record for the third consecutive day, official data showed, as Japan experiences a seventh wave of infections driven by the BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- Third-ranked maegashira Tamawashi, who has not missed a single bout in his 18-year career, has withdrawn from the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament due to a positive coronavirus case in his Kataonami stable, the Japan Sumo Association said Friday. The 37-year-old Mongolian wrestler's streak of 1,448 consecutive contests fought since his sumo debut in January 2004 is the fourth longest all-time. His streak is expected to be officially kept alive, however, as the JSA has supported COVID-19-related medical exemptions.
<July 21, 2022>
- U.S. President Joe Biden tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday and is experiencing "very mild symptoms," the White House said.
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases exceeded 180,000 on Thursday, setting a record for the second straight day, according to a Kyodo News tally, as all-time-high numbers were reported in 35 of the country's 47 prefectures amid the nation's seventh wave of infections.
- Three anti-coronavirus drugs prescribed in Japan, including molnupiravir, may be effective against the Omicron subvariant BA.5, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.
- Tokyo reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases of over 30,000 on Thursday, far exceeding the previous record logged in early February of 21,562.
- Entering the third summer in the shadows of COVID-19, gyms across Japan are coming face to face with a mask dilemma as they juggle ideas to prevent the spread of infection while worrying about severe summer heat.
<July 20, 2022>
- Japan's daily COVID-19 cases on Wednesday topped 150,000, setting a new record high, according to a Kyodo News tally, as the country grapples with its seventh wave of coronavirus infections spurred by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
- The number of foreign visitors to Japan in June exceeded 100,000 for the third consecutive month following the easing of border control measures, preliminary government data showed Wednesday.
- A Japanese health ministry panel on Wednesday postponed a decision to approve the use of an oral COVID-19 drug developed by Shionogi & Co., the second time for the decision to be delayed following a meeting last month.
- All wrestlers from the Sadogatake and Tamanoi stables have withdrawn from the ongoing Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament for coronavirus-related reasons, the Japan Sumo Association said Wednesday.
<July 18, 2022>
- Marathon runner Hitomi Niiya has become the 11th member of the Japanese team at the World Athletics Championships to test positive for the coronavirus, the Japan Association of Athletics Federations said Sunday.
<July 17, 2022>
- The Japanese government currently has no plans to impose restrictions amid the seventh wave of coronavirus infections, but it remains to be seen whether the medical system will be able to endure the cost of this decision.
Japan and beyond: Week in Photos - July 16~22
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)