Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<Sept. 22, 2022>
- A large international tourism event kicked off Thursday in Japan for the first time in two years, with the travel industry hoping to overcome setbacks from the coronavirus pandemic as the country gradually eases its border restrictions.
- Japan will ask foreign guests attending the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week to wear protective face masks to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the top government spokesman said Thursday.
<Sept. 21, 2022>
- The number of foreign visitors to Japan topped 100,000 for the fifth consecutive month in August following a relaxation of border control, government data showed Wednesday, with the figure likely to keep rising as Japan is looking to lift the entry cap.
- Thailand will downgrade COVID-19 to a "communicable disease under surveillance" from a "dangerous communicable disease," effective Oct. 1, the prime minister's office said Wednesday.
<Sept. 20, 2022>
- The average price of residential land in Japan as of July 1 rose 0.1 percent from the previous year, increasing for the first time in 31 years, as the country's economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Tuesday.
- Japan on Tuesday began its rollout of vaccines against the Omicron coronavirus variant as part of efforts to stem the ongoing seventh wave of COVID-19 infections in the country.
<Sept. 19, 2022>
- The number of babies born in Japan and to Japanese expatriates in the January to June period fell 5.0 percent from a year earlier to fewer than 400,000 for the first time since 2000, amid the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic, recent government data showed.
<Sept. 18, 2022>
- Japanese policymakers expect that a further reopening of Japan's borders to foreign visitors will breathe life into inbound tourism that had been hit by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
<Sept. 15, 2022>
- The end of the novel coronavirus pandemic is potentially drawing near and people should therefore step up efforts to prevent any further spread, the chief of the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
<Sept. 13, 2022>
- Japan will roll out vaccines against the Omicron coronavirus variant from next week and provide them free of charge, after a health ministry panel approved their classification as special temporary inoculations on Wednesday.
<Sept. 12, 2022>
- Japan's health ministry on Monday approved the production and sale of vaccines against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with the government to send the shots to local municipalities from Sept. 19.
- The Japanese government said Monday it must strike a balance between opening up to foreign travelers while keeping the coronavirus pandemic in check, as it looks to revive the world's third-largest economy which has been hard hit by the absence of tourists.
<Sept. 11, 2022>
- Japan is reviewing its border control policy of keeping daily entries below 50,000 and will remove it in the "not so distant future," a government spokesman said Sunday.
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)