Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<Aug. 17, 2022>
- The number of foreign arrivals in Japan in July exceeded 100,000 for the fourth straight month following the easing of COVID-19 border control measures in a bid to shore up the tepid economy, official data showed Wednesday.
- The coronavirus pandemic led to 8,000 more suicides in Japan between March 2020 and June 2022 than would have been expected in the period, a recent study calculated.
- U.S. first lady Jill Biden has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms, the White House said Tuesday.
<Aug. 16, 2022>
- A Tokyo-based restaurant chain operator revealed Tuesday it had withdrawn an appeal for a court case in which it demanded damages against the Tokyo metropolitan government for ordering business hours be reduced during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Japan reported a record high number of weekly cases of ambulances struggling to find a hospital for patients in the week through Sunday, hitting a high for the third straight week, as the country grapples with a surge in COVID-19 infections, government data showed Tuesday.
<Aug. 15, 2022>
- Japan's economy in the April-June period grew a real 0.5 percent from the previous quarter, or an annualized 2.2 percent, on the back of recovering private consumption following the removal of coronavirus restrictions, government data showed Monday.
<Aug. 14, 2022>
- Japanese train stations, airports and expressways were crowded Sunday as the majority of travelers returned from their summer vacation.
<Aug. 13, 2022>
- Japan's fireworks industry is seeing sparks of hope as annual public pyrotechnics displays gradually return and demand for children's fireworks from families staying home amid the coronavirus pandemic rises.
<Aug. 11, 2022>
- Japan's summer holiday season started in full swing on Thursday, with reservations for domestic trains and flights leaving Tokyo reaching a peak as travelers took advantage of a lack of coronavirus restrictions for the first time in three years.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory in his country's fight against the coronavirus and ordered an easing of "maximum emergency" measures imposed nearly three months ago, official media reported Thursday.
<Aug. 10, 2022>
- Japan's daily coronavirus tally soared to a record 250,403 cases on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's new Cabinet faces the challenge of tackling the seventh wave of the COVID-19 pandemic amid renewed concerns over a strain on the medical system.
- Japanese pharmaceutical firm Shionogi & Co. said Wednesday its oral COVID-19 drug currently under development has been confirmed in preclinical testing as effective against the Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 that has been detected in Japan.
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)