Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<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.
<Aug. 9, 2022>
- Japan's population declined to 125.93 million as of Jan. 1, the largest fall in the overall number and by percentage since comparable data became available in 2013, as deaths again outnumbered births and COVID-19 border restrictions kept foreign resident numbers low, government data showed Tuesday.
- The coronavirus pandemic has caused a major decline in the number of new marriages in Japan, with there expected to be some 150,000 fewer newly wedded couples than expected in the three years to the end of 2022, a recent study showed.
<Aug. 8, 2022>
- A new COVID-19 vaccine considered effective against the Omicron variant will be available to all people who have completed at least two inoculations from as early as mid-October, the Japanese government said Monday.
<Aug. 7, 2022>
- U.S. President Joe Biden tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Saturday after a "rebound" period in which he continued to return positive test results despite feeling well, according to his physician.
<Aug. 6, 2022>
- An annual star festival in the northeastern Japan city of Sendai, known for its hundreds of brilliant hanging decorations in shopping areas, commenced Saturday with the biggest crowds expected since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
- U.S. President Joe Biden continues to test positive for the novel coronavirus, although he feels "very well" and his cough has nearly resolved, his physician said Friday.
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)