Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from Japan and beyond:
<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.
<Sept. 9, 2022>
- Japan's cumulative total of coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic topped 20 million on Friday, official data showed, doubling in less than two months as the country battles its seventh wave of infections.
<Sept. 7, 2022>
- India's drug regulator has approved what a local vaccine innovator calls the "world's first" intranasal COVID-19 vaccine, restricted for use in emergency situations for those aged 18 years and above.
- Japan's relaxed border measures from Wednesday, including raising a daily cap on arrivals from 20,000 to 50,000, will not translate into a surge of tourists to gun its economy unless they are given greater freedom to travel in the country, industry officials say.
- Japan increased its daily entry cap on arrivals from 20,000 to 50,000 on Wednesday, as the country's tourism sector has been languishing in the face of strict COVID-19 border controls imposed for more than two years.
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)